Wednesday 26 October 2016

War of the Dublin huns - which one are you?

Eva Hall

Published 19/01/2016 | 11:14

Dublin huns
Dublin huns

One's an anonymous south Dublin satirical character with a penchant for the crude that's amassed thousands of followers on social media, the other is a northside self-confessed 'hippy goth', accused of cashing in on her southside counterpart's popularity.

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Both Dublin Girlo and Dublin Hun are the social media phenomenons filling your timelines with chicken fillet rolls, naggins of vodka and hair extensions, and after finally colliding - in cyberspace anyway - it's now spice bags at dawn.

Spurred on by their thousands of followers, they've represented both sides of the capital on Twitter and Instagram for the last 12 months with talk of one-night stands, failed exercise regimes, binge-drinking, bad choices and down-right gruesome sexcapades. And now, both huns are making their territory on the worldwide web, one meme at a time.

Tweets like: "Who's this 'Dublin Hun' yoke tryna be the original @dublin_girlo?"... "Will someone please tell @Dublin_hun that she's just the tesco value version of @dublin_girlo"... and "Green doesn't look well on you @dublin_girlo... @Dublin_hun at least you have original, funny material", not to mention "McGregor VS. Aldo or @Dublin_hun VS. @dublin_girlo?" have drawn the two parodies to directly tweet each other: "More like a Liberty Market version" and "What do ye say girlo? You're verdy quieh?".

When asked by the Herald whether there was room for similar parody accounts, Dublin Girlo said: "Sure, as long as they're funny, which all of them aren't."

Aoife Dooley, aka Dublin Hun, told The Herald: "I think there is room for [similar parodies] if they are done right and have new material that differs them from other accounts. If it's the same recycled phrases, it gets old quick, it has to be different.

"I like to think it's all in jest [with Dublin Girlo] but I can't help but feel that they are feeling threatened and retaliating but, fight fire with fire."

Rising to prominence in 2014, Dublin Girlo cropped up on Twitter with daily memes and catchphrases which soon trended throughout the county. If you're not familiar with the hashtags 'stunhun' or 'session moth', your teenager definitely is, and chances are that meme you laughed at in the office the other day originated on her page.

An Instagram account and monthly blog soon followed the Twitter account, where Dublin Girlo shares her very honest - and very raw (NSFW) - accounts of being a 20-something singleton in Dublin who has to pick herself up after being dumped; keep her 'head high hun' after sleeping with someone from the office; and reward herself with 3-in-1s and spice bags when she loses a few pounds in Slimming World. Queue 65,000 followers on Instagram, an agony aunt column and radio interviews later, Dublin Girlo has become a Dublin institution.

"I did have my own Twitter that I used to post similar stuff on and every time I did, one of my huns would be straight on the phone saying 'YOU CAN'T POST THAT STUFF ON THE INTERNET!' so I thought 'who can't?' and started tweeting anonymously.

"I'm on Twitter about two years and Instagram over a year with over 100,000 followers between the two of them, it's hunreal," says Dublin Girlo.

Repping the northside, Dublin Hun, the brainchild of Coolock-born Aoife Dooley, has taken it to the next level, by setting up a shop full of merchandise dedicated to popular Dublin phrases, such as 'stun hun' and 'ye tick ye'.

Aoife's parody Instagram account has amassed more than 10,000 followers, and sells mugs, cushions and phone covers with her illustrations of Dublin huns, as well as caricatures of yourself as a hun if the mood takes.

Aoife says: "It developed from another project I started in 2011 back in Colaiste Dhulaigh called 'A Guide to the northside/southside'. I had some free time after I graduated from DIT so I went back to explore the subject more," says Aoife.

While Dublin Girlo remains anonymous, she claims all the material she posts is about her own life.

"I'm no oil painting but I do take pride in my girlo name; my extensions are always in, my roots are always done, I can't live without my acrylics (nails) and I wouldn't be seen in public without my minks (that's hair extenstions to the unitiated)," she adds.

"I never thought people would be so interested in hearing about me making a show of myself or being dumped, but everyone has gone through it or knows someone who has. It's real life, I'm tweeting or blogging about it as it's happening so it's relatable. I think that's why people love it," she adds.

So with all the success, why still remain anonymous?

"Why not? I think that's what makes the page. That everyone can relate to it but no one knows who the f*** I am. I'm not gaining anything from it so there's no need not to be.

"I could be your neighbour, I could be the parish priest, I could be the girl in the pics with the extenos hanging out of her head that I rip it out of, who knows?"

Aoife, meanwhile, says her Dublin Hun parody is semi-biographical.

"I was a hippy goth growing up. A lot of it is based around things I do though. I clean my Nikes with baby wipes, live in Penneys and love spice bags, so there are elements there.

"I'm shocked at how many people like and relate to the page. It's a really special feeling when you create something and people share it with their mates and it makes them smile.

"I think people have responded so well to me because I am who I am, what you see is what you get. I came from nothing and have built my profile up and I'm doing something I'm passionate about and that reflects through my work," added Aoife.

"Other accounts are anonymous and that, to me, looks like you have something to hide, whereas I'm proud of where I'm from. I am working class and I'm celebrating that through my work."

So after a year of scandal, spats, laughter and money-making, where can these huns take it in 2016?

"I've one or two plans in the pipeline. You'll defo be reading more from me and listening to me talk the gick a lot more over the next few months," says Dublin Girlo.

Aoife, meanwhile, sees herself going down the Ross O'Carroll-Kelly route: "A book may be in the works at the moment but we'll have to wait and see..."

Whether you're backing the northside or southside, both huns want you to stay stunnin'.

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