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Kerry is the cover-star for global travel bible

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Ross Castle in Killarney, Co Kerry; and, inset, the cover of the latest edition of 'National Geographic Traveler'

Ross Castle in Killarney, Co Kerry; and, inset, the cover of the latest edition of 'National Geographic Traveler'

Ross Castle in Killarney, Co Kerry; and, inset, the cover of the latest edition of 'National Geographic Traveler'

It's not every day that one of the world's most celebrated travel publications opens its cover story in Lacca West.

Nor is it every day that the writer of that cover story is Hollywood actor, and acclaimed travel writer, Andrew McCarthy. Welcome to the February/March edition of 'National Geographic Traveler'.

Currently hitting newsstands across the US, the cover features a spectacular shot of Ross Castle in Killarney, accompanied by the headline: 'Return to Ireland - A Journey Home'. Inside, McCarthy describes a trip through the Kingdom over the course of an 11-page spread featuring mouthwatering images of Kerry and its "lyrical hills".

Over the course of his visit, he climbs Carrauntoohil, visits Kenmare and Ballinskelligs, and journeys out on to the Dingle Peninsula.

"You don't get to Dingle by accident; it is on the way to nothing but itself."

McCarthy's wife is from Dublin, and he is a regular visitor here.

As an actor, he is best known for his roles in 1980s movies 'Pretty in Pink' and 'St Elmo's Fire', but has latterly forged a reputation as a travel writer.

The story will delight Tourism Ireland, which is rolling out an extensive programme of promotions in the United States for 2015,

Last year was the best year ever for tourism from the US, with visitor numbers increasing by 134,000 over 2013.

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