Belfast International Airport

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Published: 05 September 2012


PIGS might fly but according to the Northern Ireland Tourist Board so too can the milk-providing variety of animal as its 'ni2012 cows', part of the world’s largest public art exhibition, are being herded to Belfast International Airport (BFS) this week.

The art exhibition involves up to 200 fibre glass cows being transformed into magnificent sculptures by local artists and community groups and NITB’s herd of cows have been designed using the now highly-recognisable ni2012: our time, our place colours of pink, blue and yellow.    

The ni2012 cows have been visiting towns and cities around Northern Ireland during the summer for one week at a time.  After appearances in Portrush, Derry~Londonderry, Bangor, Warrenpoint, Omagh, Armagh, Downpatrick and Enniskillen, the cows are making a flying visit to BFS w/c September 3.

The cows will be grazing in the grounds of the airport until September 10 and NITB is encouraging people across the country to visit the cows until they mooove onto pastures new.

While the cows have been travelling over the summer they have been stopping along the way to visit some of Northern Ireland’s iconic locations and tourist attractions to have their photo taken including Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge, Marble Arch Caves, the Mournes and Slieve Gullion.

NITB’s ni2012/13 manager Siobhán McGuigan is thrilled that NITB is part of the Cow Parade.

“We decided to get involved in the Cow Parade as 2012 is such a momentous year for Northern Ireland.  It is a great way to showcase our towns and cities and encourage people to visit the public art sculptures as they graze in different areas,” said Siobhán.

“There has been a number of cows on display throughout the cities of Derry and Belfast but the ni2012 cows were the only herd that have been moooving across Northern Ireland to be displayed in different areas and we’ve had a fantastic response from people coming out to see them,” she added.  

Make sure that you go and visit the cows so that they’re not lonely and post your pictures on our Discover Northern Ireland Facebook page.  To follow the cows as they travel around Northern Ireland and to see where they’ve already been, visit, where you can also see a behind-the-scenes video of Mooty’s very valiant attempt at surfing at Portballintrae’s Runkerry Strand.

More than 70 cities across the globe have hosted a Cow Parade since 1999 but this is the first time it has come to Northern Ireland as well as the first time it has taken over an entire region rather than just one city.  

For more information on the Cow Parade and attractions in Northern Ireland click on or visit your local tourist information centre.  You can also keep up-to-date with the latest news, images, videos and competitions by visiting

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