Before we begin today's Irish-themed Sunday Service - here is a brief disclaimer.
This is by no means intended as a definitive list of either the best, or of the most influential Irish skateboarders.
Ireland has been producing skateboarding talent for as long as we can remember and as such, this little ode to four of our favourites is going to leave out a bunch of people who ought to be included.
Off the top of my head, honourable mentions must go out to following: to skatepark/skate company owners Wayne Gallagher and Mike Keane, to O'Connell St, Dublin's G1 skate store owner Graham McPherson, to short-clad maniac Al Collins, Jer Evans, early Dublin videographer Ciaran O'Connor, Rob Benson, James Black, more recent Dublin-based video maker Ciaran Hughes, Craig Dodds, Richard Gilligan, Keith Walsh, Dion McGarrity, Naoise and crew at High Rollers, Stef Jaconelli, Irish Snowy, Blayney Hamilton and more besides. Then moving north you have the likes of Bernard Rea, Niall Neeson, Jerome Loughran, Graham and all at Loko, Jay Dords, Chris McQuilkin, the Monkeybird crew, Ryan 'Hippy' O'Neill, Niall 'NOB' O'Brien and Stuart Robinson; plus the Cork heads, the Limerick crew, etc, etc...the list goes on and on.
Point being - Ireland's skateboarding scene, despite receiving less media attention than the rest of Europe, has been on fire for a very long time and all the people mentioned above (plus many others) have been instrumental in drawing attention to that fact.
With the above caveat in hand - we thought it made sense to pull together a grip of footage from four of our Irish mates given that this Saturday was St Patrick's Day.
All of them have 'made it' as known skateboarders in various capacities and each one of them has left their mark on today's Irish skate culture.
Anyhow, enough blabbering...
Wallride nollie out. Photo: CJ
Hailing from Andersonstown (AKA 'Andytown') west Belfast, at the ripe old age of 30, Conhuir is the elder statesman of the skaters included in this piece.
With a long skateboarding career behind him, Conhuir had been everywhere and done everything (virtually) by the time he was 20. Following in the wake of Bernie Rea, Conhuir's natural talent and willingness to travel saw him land serious contracts on the likes of Quiksilver and Etnies back in their early 00's peaks, along with stints riding for Unabomber, Blueprint, flow for Flip (sort of), Zero and finally Ben Horton's skateboard brand Slave.
Whilst Conhuir may never have landed himself a pro board, his presence was well and truly felt globally, and his back catalogue of footage speaks for itself.
Blueprint Skateboards - 'Lost & Found' (Easter Egg part)
This section found its way onto Blueprint's seminal Lost & Found as a hidden Easter egg section after Conhuir jumped ship from Blueprint for unchartered waters around the time that L&A was released in 2005.
Sidewalk Magazine - 'In Progress' (2011)
After a few years spent in Barcelona and the USA and then a year or so on the injury bench, Conhuir returned to form with his section for our second full-length video. Coming in at the last minute, Conhuir put in some serious hard work and sofa surfing hours to pull this one out of the bag, landing himself a grip of new sponsors as a result.
An additional shared part with younger brother Denis appeared the following year as a Bonus section that came on a cover-mounted DVD with our old paper incarnation.
Since that point Conhuir has continued to skate and followed a different career trajectory after leaving all his sponsors and concentrating on living a more sedate lifestyle back in Belfast. Needless to say, he still kills it and he also makes a mean coffee these days.
Frontside rock. Photo: Jay Dords
Like salt and vinegar, you can't have one without the other, so the next choice was always going to be the younger of the two Lynn brothers. As far as skateboarding siblings go, these two are about as diametrically opposed as it gets - where Conhuir is all composed tech gnar, Denis errs on the opposite end of the spectrum, mixing serious tranny skills with loose trucked recklessness on street.
If you've met Denis then you'll know that a) he knows how to tell a story and b) 99% of those stories usually revolve around him.
A true gift from the Gods to skateboarding, DLynn is a guaranteed good time (and a stinking hangover). Given that the Phil Evans 'Saint Denis' bio pic is set to drop in the next week or so, we'll keep the anecdotes to a minimum for now.
Suffice to say, Denis was doing kickflip fakies in full pipes at 9-years-old.
OG status at 25.
Dane 'Morph' Crook, Ryan Gray and Kevin Parrott teamed up to produce this independent UK banger back in 2014 and Denis played a strong role in it. Filmed during his London period (whilst he was working for Supreme would you believe) this Albion part is heavy on the street footy and a good reminder of just how versatile this gobshite is.
The National Skateboard Co video (2016)
This shared part with fellow TNSC and Lost Art rider Tom Tanner sees Denis somehow pull together almost a full section despite 'awaiting' knee surgery, (and by 'awaiting' we mean 'forgetting to go to appointments'), and stands in testament to sheer force of will. Where others would be taking it easy, Denis was still going full force just to prove that he could get more footage than half his team mates with or without knee ligaments.
Denis has subsequently turned pro for The National Skateboard Co, finally made some progress on getting his knee fixed, attended a premiere for a Carharrt financed documentary on himself and is apparently rolling around in a wheelchair somewhere in Yorkshire waiting for his surgery. Words fail me...
Since the Lynns hail from Belfast, this seems like a good point to direct you all towards the excellent St Annes documentary made by Pete Adams that came out a good few years ago.
For those who don't know, St Annes was Belfast's answer to EMB and honed the talents of generations of Belfast skaters.
You can see Part 1 below - follow the link here for Part 2 of the St Annes documentary.
Hardflip. Photo: Craig Dodds
Hailing from the mid-West city of Limerick, Cian Eades is unique in so far as being one of the only Irish born skaters that we can think of who has 'made it' with major paying sponsors, without having to go through the UK sponsorship machine.
Picked up by Spanish brand Jart as a consequence of the amount of time Cian has spent in Spain over the years, this young lad from Limerick (or 'Stab City' as he assures us that it's colloquially known) is a tech machine. With a deep bag of specialist tech tricks, serious ledge game and a no fucking about attitude - Cian has been a force to reckon with for a long, long time.
Jart Skateboards - 'All You Need' (2013)
Cian's first full part for Jart came correct with serious technicality, hammers and that switch laser flip on lock. Peep those stats.
This is the skatepark where Cian learned his craft and where you'll regularly see clips popping up on his Instagram from. Given the park's layout, it's really no surprise that he's the stair munching lunatic that he is. Power.
Cian is currently out in Spain somewhere killing it as usual. If you bump into him, make sure to say hello. This is the kind of guy you want on your side if the streets turn nasty.
Lipslide. Photo: Craig Dodds
Young Gavin first came to the attention of the wider skate community as a result of his widely circulated online sponsor-me video that appeared during the early days of YouTube. MACBA bangers whilst clad in what could only be described as Chevy Chase tier tourist outfits definitely made him stand out immediately.
Over the years, this pasty-faced Dubliner's willingness to fill a backpack with Haribo and New Eras and embark on any trip he's invited on, has seen him rack up and impressive amount of mag coverage and video parts. Gav has filmed so many video parts in fact, that we've had to seriously reign in what we post here or it'll likely break the website.
Born and raised at Dublin's infamous Baggot St and under the wing of Dublin pioneer Wayne Gallagher, what Gavin may lack in terms of healthy skin tone, he more than makes up for with pure ability.
Gav Coughlan Skates Dublin, Ireland A to B (2015)
This RIDE channel piece serves a dual purpose here as both an insight into Gav's impeccable skateboarding, whilst simultaneously providing a glimpse into most of the major Dublin street spots.
Street Skating in Dublin, Ireland (2016)
It seems fitting the end this on another RIDE channel piece focusing on Dublin that heavily features Gav Coughlan, along with fellow Dublin ripper Keith Walsh and Limerick's Cian Eades. If you're wondering why the RIDE Channel seemed to focus on Ireland so much, I'd hazard to suggest that it's partly because Tony Hawk spends so much time in Ireland himself. Don't believe me? Check this out - Birdhouse in Dublin.
Finally, I've just stumbled across a full upload of Ciaran O'Connor's late 90's Dublin scene video 'It Can't rain Forever' after finishing this, so consider yourselves lucky.
Some seriously heavy skateboarding in this one.
All that remains to be said is that if you're interested in finding out more about the current day Irish skateboarding scene, then you could do a lot worse than direct yourselves towards the excellent and very active Skate Eire website.
Sásta Lá Fhéile Pádraig!