Saturday 24 March 2018

Canadian behind viral Irish holiday video says people the highlight of trip

Brian O'Reilly

Brian O'Reilly

A CANADIAN filmmaker whose holiday video of Ireland went viral has said the Irish people were the highlight of his visit here two months ago.

In publicity Failte Ireland chiefs could only dream of, Stephen Parker’s video of Ireland has been viewed thousands of times online since being shared on social media site Reddit.

The video, which is almost 20 minutes long, features brief clips from the couples’ travels around the country, from landmarks such as the Cliffs of Moher to the Rock of Cashel.

Stephen told the Irish Independent the  couple decided on the trip after deciding ‘beach holidays’ weren’t for them.

“We aren't the kind of people who can sit on a beach for a week so we vowed that our next trip would be the big one.

“We both booked off all of our work holidays for the year and my wife went to work planning an elaborate, destination-filled journey where we would rarely be in one location for more than a day - we basically wanted to see everything.

“With my wife taking the reigns on that end of the journey I wanted to document it as best I could.”

Stephen’s wife Shannon took on all the planning and organisational duties, meaning he could focus on documenting the trip.

“My wife's impeccable planning, booking and research skills allowed me the ability to just show up with my camera and shoot amazing things.

“She navigated and I drove, except for 1 day where I had terrible food poisoning, and she was forced to get behind the wheel for the first and last time in Ireland. Basically, she ran the trip, I just made sure I documented it.”

Although the video has a running time of just 20 minutes, it took Stephen two months to edit the project, as ‘real life duties’ got in the way.

However despite the hundreds of kilometres and dozens of sites seen on the trip, Stephen said the enduring memory of the country will be the people.

“The one lasting memory we'll have of the trip was how friendly and gregarious everyone was at all times.

“It didn't matter if it was at a bar in Dublin getting advice on where to go to next, a farmer on a back country road telling us about his day or one of the amazing tour guides we met giving us a tour of a wonderfully restored castle it was the people that helped paint the picture of Ireland.

“Yes, the sights and locations were stunning but if it weren't for that wonderful cultural glue holding everything together we might as well have been looking at photos in a museum. So it was the people that were the highlight, absolutely.”

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