Interview by Jeff Halleran
Photos by J-HON
What was it like for you growing up as a young man in Ireland? Did you grow up living in a house of pain?
It was pretty much the complete opposite of what it’s like to grow up in Southern California. When I was a kid there were soilders on the street and bomb threats but skateboarding was number one priority in my eyes. Every house in Ireland is a house of pain, so jump around.
Who are some Irish skateboarders that you’ve looked up to at one point or another? You have a brother who skates also and his name is Denis, right? Can you elucidate on how rad it is having a sibling to shred with?
I would have to say that Bernard Rea was the number one in my eyes for a long time, dude ripped, natural as you like, his brother Liam as well. Both of thoses dudes stoked me out as a kid, as of right now, my brother Denis is hot on my trail. He stoked me out more than anyone when he skates, Busenitz/Penny, that’s how I sum him up. It’s possibly the best motivation a man could need, he stokes me out everytime I skate with him. He’s 18 you see so I constantly have to be on my toes, have to be the big brother you know? Nah man I’m so stoked he skates, pickin’ up some sponsors too, he has a bunch of tricks in my Sidewalk video part comin’ out, so keep ur eyes peeled!
Where are some of your favorite places to skate back home in Ireland? What’s life like in general in Ireland compared to the time you’ve spent in the U.S.? Was there anything that tripped you out as being really different when you first came to the States?
None, apart from the ones we build. Nah we have some raw spots, keep and eye out for footage, I got a camera at home now! Quality of life in So Cal is a hell of a lot better than home, obviously the weather, don’t go takin’ that vitamin D for granted now people, the winters in Ireland are long and dull as fuck. But how widely skateboarding is accepted in the US tripped me out. You definitley get second glances when you skate in Ireland, it’s not yet accepted as a common thing. Belfast (second largest city in Ireland) is gettin’ its first ever concrete park as we speak and I’ve lived there my whole life.
What is your favorite Irish beverage of choice, and can people buy it in the U.S.? Do you like Irish Cream? Does cash rule everything around you?
It’s a beer called Harp, it’s made by the same brewery as Guinness, but I’ve tasted it out here and it’s not the same. I was kinda bummed, stoked when I seen it, bummed when I drank it (laughs). Hell yeah I like Irish cream, I also like CREAM Conhuir-ruins-every-American’s-mind yoo.
True or false, The Great Hunger is when Irish skaters were hungry for handrails but everything was ABD. Please explain.
You know all the text books have it wrong and it always pissed me off. Potatoes, seriously come on. Of course it’s about handrails, I’m still starving.
NOLLIE FS 360 PHOTOS: J-HON
Do you ever thicken up your accent when there’s ladies around while you’re out here in the U.S.? Has Pat Burke ever tried to pull something like that off?
(laughs) Nah I’m taken. I know alot of people who do that though, I’m not one of em, I’m sure Pat has tried before but he sounds more like a Scottish man rather than the Irish version. My shit’s hard to do.
What’s up with your tre flip? You’ve got that sucker dialed in, when did things start to click with that maneuver for you? Got any tips for the kids?
Shit I dunno, I stopped doin’ them for the longest time because I got really paranoid people thought that’s all I could do. I shot an interview with Sidewalk recently and made sure I didn’t shoot a tre flip photo (laughs), but I’m back on the tre train now, I learnt them on my 13th birthday and when I was 17 something happened and it started to work. The tip is have your feet completely parallel both pointing northwest, clap your hand twice. Pop scoop catch land, be stoked!
How’s staying at your $lave teammate Matt Mumford’s house while you’re currently visiting here in California? Do you have your own room set up? How do you like working with J-HON? Can you tell a story about being out on a session with the man?
I couldn’t ask to stay with a better dude, I owe the dude alot, he put me up last time and this time he was kind enough to let me stay again. Yeah I got my own room at the minute. It’s so tight, better than my set up at home, and Blue Dog is here too, get to kick it with him all the time! (laughs) J-HON is the best, I torture the poor man, call him nearly every day. He would usually show up zorched out of his mind and somehow pull it together and shoot a rad photo, in the words of the man himself, “I just don’t give a fuck” sums him right up! I’m backin’ him!
What’s Boggin exactly? How did that term get coined originally and by who?
Glad you asked! The term itself means stinking or horrible, like “that carpet is boggin”, or “his style is so boggin” so the guy that started www.bogginzine.com is called Jay Dords. Gotta give credit to the man, he has been fueling Irish skateboarding for a long time, he never asks for anything in return, he just wants to stoke people out, there are very few people left in the world like that! I praise the man! So Dords throws events throughout the year and has jams and campin’ trips, the whole thing is sick. Brings the whole country together into one scene, pretty rad!
How long is the flight back home to Ireland for you, and what are you going to do to pass the time?
It took me 19 hours to get here, takes a couple more to go home because it’s against the wind, I’m gonna sit on the plane and be stoked I’m alive and well and skating and think of how much you guys are gonna miss me! Till the next time! Slan go foill (good bye for now).