george and amal clooney on boat
Have you got that mid-morning cup of tea brewed? Good. Because we’ve got some good news – Mr. and Mrs. George Clooney are coming to Ireland for their summer holidays.
George has spoken about his ancestral ties to Kilkenny before, he’s a Guilfoyle somewhere along the family tree, but this trip will mark his first visit to our gorgeous country. Amal has visited a couple of times before, but that’s no excuse for us to not give her our best china.
George was speaking to the Irish Independent about his embarrassment at never being here before, “I’m embarrassed that I’ve never properly been there before now. I’ve been talking about going there for years and Bono has been trying to get me to do a bike ride around Ireland with him.”
“He probably won’t be up for that now, but I’m definitely going to make a visit happen this summer. Amal has been several times, so she can show me around.?
Here’s a little itinerary we prepared for Amal and George. Now we hope it doesn’t rain?
Where they should eat
Zunis. This restaurant is the top place to eat in Kilkenny and is in all the guidebooks for a reason. Maria Raftery is the cheffing brains behind the highly-regarded operation and we’re recommending the scallops or Goatsbridge trout. zuni.ie
Where Amal should pick up a dress or ten
Kilkenny is home of Blanaid Hennessy’s Folkster operation, which has spawned the interiors line Gild & Cage and a Dublin boutique. While the aesthetic is a bit more bohemian than the Oscar de la Renta loving Amal usually goes for, we think a holiday requires a holiday wardrobe, and an element of risk. folkster.com
Of course she could always pop up to BTs for a wander like Parks and Recreation‘s Retta this weekend. Her Instagram was a treat.
Where George should grab a pint
The Hole in the Wall. This tiny public house is something of a hidden gem and cult favourite in the medieval city of Kilkenny. This idiosyncratic pub is apparently housed in Ireland’s oldest surviving townhouse and is also an occasional music venue. Last time we were there we listened to Jerry Hannan’s Society on loop and talked conspiracy theories. It was very good. George will enjoy. We’re sure they’ll be able to source plenty of tequila, considering the actor owns a company devoted to the spirit. holeinthewall.ie
Human rights issues this crusading couple could address
When she’s not the darling of Vogue, Mrs. Clooney is pretty busy being one of the world’s top international human rights barristers. Last week the Guardian revealed the lawyer was nearly arrested last year in Egypt for her co-authoring of a report that criticized that country’s politicized judiciary. She was warned that her entering the country could lead to imprisonment. She’s now currently representing Mohamed Fahmy, an Al Jazeera journalist who has been in a Cairo prison for over a year.
George meanwhile has been in the headlines for his loud stance on the Sony hacking scandal. While most actors remained silent in the face of their employer being the victim of an incredibly damaging cyber attack, Clooney called out the press on their treating the story as an entertainment scoop as opposed to a rather scary news story.
We heartily hope that George and Amal put some time aside during their holidays to address some of the major issues facing the people of this country at the moment. Something needs to be done about direct provision and the horrible conditions we’re subjecting vulnerable people to. The 8th amendment and the tragic legal quagmire it is creating needs to be addressed by the government. Here’s hoping one of the world’s most influential couples isn’t afraid to call us out on our hypocrisy.
Follow Jeanne Sutton on Twitter @jeannedesutun