The men who surf Ireland's heaviest waves
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 2 February, 2016 - Northcore's latest film was conceived as part of their #Talking Story project where through a book, film, still images and interviews the brand set about capturing inspirational stories and characters.
The story which inspired Northcore to make a new short film entitled “Samhain” (pronounced “sah-win”), set in County Clare, West Ireland is about a group of friends and surfers who take on everything the Atlantic can throw at their coast. Peter Conroy, Seamus O'Riain and Fionan Cronin hold down regular jobs and other than the waves they surf, they lead regular lives. They ride Ireland's heaviest Winter surf often on their own and often without cameras, for the fun and comradery, not for the glory.
Pete, Seamus and Fionan epitomise surfing and big wave riding in County Clare and Western Ireland, not for the number of cover shots they get but for the what they contribute to the local surf community. Surfer and fire fighter Peter Conroy initiated a project to raise money for first aid kits and defibrillators to be purchased and stationed at the heaviest wave spots in Ireland for anyone in need of them.
With the help of lifeguards, Seamus O'Riain and Fionan Cronin he also offers free jet ski rescue and first aid training for other big wave riders or for anyone who needs to acquire those skills. They also established and run a County Clare based jet ski rescue club. These surfers are setting the bar for big wave safety and community in Ireland - this is what makes their story special.
Filming for “Samhain” took place over two days on Ireland's wild Atlantic coast at a number of locations but primarily at the rarely working, heaving (and downright dangerous) slab of a surf spot called "Laurens" at the foot of the 700ft high Cliffs of Moher. During filming the wind was offshore, the surf was classic and the sun cast everything in a golden light. It felt like summers end. Days later winter took hold and the cold, grey returned.
The film title “Samhain” is a Gaelic meaning "Summer's End" and pronounced “sah-win”. It's a celebration of the end of the harvest and the beginning of winter or the “darker half" of the year. It seemed like a fitting name for the sessions which were documented during two perfect days of surf in mid-November 2015.