Kilkenny County Council Launches 2024 Sun Smart Campaign

Katherine Peacock, Community & Culture, Kilkenny County Council; Darragh Mahon, Water Safety Development Officer; Anne-Marie Shortall, Community & Culture, Kilkenny County Council; Cllr Joe Malone, Mayor of Kilkenny Municipal District; Anne-Marie Lawlor, Cancer Prevention Health Promotion, HSE; Thomas Moore, Parks, Kilkenny County Council; and Janette Boran, Healthy Kilkenny Coordinator, Kilkenny County Council

As summer is upon us, Kilkenny County Council is thrilled to announce the 2024 launch of the National Cancer Control Programme’s “Sun Smart” campaign. This vital initiative aims to educate the public on protecting their skin from harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays while enjoying the beautiful Irish weather.

The Sun Smart campaign will roll out in three key locations in Kilkenny: Newpark Marsh Eco Park, Kilkenny Countryside Park in Dunmore, and along the Waterway in Graiguenamanagh. Each location will feature a SunSmart dispenser providing essential tips, information, and resources to help everyone stay safe under the sun.

Why Being Sun Smart Matters

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in Ireland, with over 11,000 cases diagnosed annually—a number projected to double by 2045. Most skin cancers can be prevented by protecting skin from UV rays and avoiding sunbeds.

From April to September, UV rays in Ireland are at their strongest, even on cooler, cloudy days. Being SunSmart is a simple yet effective way to reduce the risk of skin cancer. Follow these Healthy Ireland SunSmart steps:

  • Slipon long-sleeved clothing.
  • Slopon sunscreen with SPF 30+ for adults and 50+ for children, ensuring it has high UVA protection and is water-resistant. Reapply regularly.
  • Slapon a wide-brimmed hat.
  • Seekshade, especially for babies and children, and use sunshades for buggies or prams.
  • Slideon sunglasses with UV protection.

Mayor of Kilkenny Municipal District, Cllr Joe Malone, emphasised, “Getting outside is crucial for our wellbeing, but we must protect our skin and our families. By incorporating SunSmart steps into our daily routines, we lay the foundation for a healthier future.”

For more information and tips on staying SunSmart this summer, visit the SunSmart hub at and follow #SunSmart on social media.

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