The Lingaun Valley APP

The Lingaun River Valley is a sacred place. Nestled between the Slievenamon hills of south Kilkenny and the mighty River Suir at the southern end of the long border between sporting rivals Tipperary and Kilkenny, it unites rather than divides its shared community. The micro-region is defined firstly by its geography and then by its spiritual heritage. The Lingaun River which rises below the prehistoric cairn flows east, before turning south to join its big sister the Suir a couple of kilometres to the east of the major town of Carrick-on-Suir. This ancient region contain a panorama of 5,000 years of spiritual artefacts, clusters of high crosses and sacred burial grounds. The area offers a microcosm of the Fáilte Ireland’s Ancient East and it is hoped to develop the area as such.

KLP submitted an application with support from the Lingaun Valley Tourism Committee and Kilkenny County Council to bring Kilkenny’s first Augmented Reality (AR) heritage App into fruition. This initiative proposed as being an environmentally sustainable project combined with the of use of ‘smart’ technology and traditional heritage tourism practices. KLP also developed a collaboration with Pôle territorial Ouest Charente – Pays du Cognac France to develop, implement and commission this visitor experience using AR technology accessed through visitors own smart phones and tablets in three specific heritage sites displaying the sites attractions as they would have been experienced at or soon after their construction.Three sites were selected in the Kilkenny part of the overall Lingaun Valley region: Kilkieran High Crosses, Knockroe Passage Tomb and Killamery High Cross.

The APP is a ‘turn key’ visitor experience for the region using Augmented Reality (AR) Platforms to bring the Lingaun experience to users through their mobile devices by displaying the site’s attractions as they would have experienced in the late Stone age.
In 2019, Walton Institute and their team of historians, designers and software developers started the initial research and development for the Lingaun AR experience. Throughout the year, they developed the visitor experience software, illustrating the sites from its most interesting perspectives for tourists in search of the historic gems Kilkenny has to offer. On the 22nd July 2021 the Lingaun Valley App was launched at the Kilkerian Cottage Restaurant, beside the four crosses at the Kilkerian site. The guest of honour, Professor Muiris O’Sullivan, of UCD noted his pleasure at seeing the recently installed road signs designating the visitor’s entry to the Lingaun Valley. He spoke of the uniqueness of the entire Lingaun region, in its cultural and heritage senses. Professor O’Sullivan explained that the relatively short Lingaun River, and the mountain of Slievenamon, where its’ source sprung, probably, based on an analysis of the archaeology, formed a special and region to Neolithic people. He explained that later in early Christian Ireland, the presence of high crosses was a ready indicator of the site being a monastic settlement. He praised the AR app initiative, stating, that having being informed today of its many functions, he realised he had only really, “Started the tractor engine” on its capabilities. The professor also recalled the archaeological research he led on the Knockroe site in the early 1990s.
Declan Rice, CEO of KLP stated at the launch, “This is the first in Ireland, with even very few international examples!” he continued, “The Walton Institute of WIT have done a magnificent job on creating the app. It allows any visitor with a smart-phone- Apple, Samsung or Android, to see a huge amount of dynamic images of the former appearance of these internationally prestigious sites.”