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Monday 18 December 2017

'I am Ireland's biggest Viner, or rather I was Ireland's biggest Viner'

Tipperary native Senan Byrne has quarter of a billion views across all his vines

Senan has close to 300,000 followers on Vine
Senan has close to 300,000 followers on Vine
Jason Kennedy

Jason Kennedy

Ireland's biggest Vine comedian says he's been left heartbroken at the news the video sharing app is set to close.

Tipperary native Senan Byrne, who currently has more than 250,000 followers on Vine, expressed his disappointment at last night's news that the app will be discontinued in the coming months.

Senan (30) was a fast adapted to Vine, downloading it more than two years ago, not long after Twitter launched it. He started putting up his own content, which he admits was of questionable quality. It didn't take too long for him to develop a following with his quirky video style.

"I pushed out funnier stuff and kept being goofy and silly and gained a massive audience," he told Independent.ie.

"To date I have more than a quarter of a billion views across all my vines. I'm the only Irish person to date who has achieved that."

Senan, who works as a nurse, said Vine really had a "tonic for good mental health" to it and frequently receives messages from viewers who say his content has brightened up their day.

Tipperary native Senan Byrne
Tipperary native Senan Byrne

"I work for the Mental Health Services and it's something we say to individuals who present to the service; Find something that motivates you outside of your normal working live or your routine.

"I found mine and that was Vine."

The format of a fast-moving, six second video might sound simple, but Senan said he put a serious amount of thought into how to do his videos. However, since Vine doesn't have a massive following in Ireland, many Irish people didn't notice when his clips took off.

"I spent hours if not half a day thinking of how to cram a joke into a Vine. Often when Vines went viral, no one would know in Ireland," he said.

"The Vine community in Ireland was pretty slim. If you got a 100 or 1,000 likes on Facebook, it'd be considered viral.

"On Vine, I was reaching hundreds of thousands of likes and millions of views, which I'm so grateful for."

Although Vine may soon be a thing of the past, Senan still has his comedy Facebook group 'The Fupin Eejits', where he performs with two of his friends.  So far, this group has more than 70,000 fans and continues to grow.

"It's thriving at the moment, which is great," he said.

"If I didn't have that now, I don't know where I'd be, with the news that Vine is gone."

Twitter said that it would give users a chance to access and download their vines before the service shuts down completely.

You can look at Senan's Vines while the website is still live here.

The Fupin Eejits Facebook page can be viewed here.

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