Behind the Shot - Colin Cooney

Stu Nettle picture
Stu Nettle (stunet)
Swellnet Dispatch

screen_shot_2015-04-21_at_8.59.07_pm.pngWords and photo by Colin Cooney.
(GoPro shot at right by Shane Dorian)

The small Irish surfing village of Lahinch in County Clare had a flying visit from Hawaiian big wave surfer Shane Dorian last weekend. His arrival on Saturday had been kept pretty low key until he turned up at Kenny's Pub on the main street for a few pints where he presented the winning trophy for the local surf competition held that day.

His timing was just perfect with a fresh swell filling in and hitting the Clare coastline from first light on Sunday morning. It wasn't a massive swell by any standards but with a decent period of 16 seconds and the tides hitting just right gave him the opportunity for two heavy sessions in one day. Shane hooked up with local surfers and scored some epic paddle barrels at the famous 'Aileens' break at the foot of the Cliffs of Moher and then finished off the day with a sunset tow-in Session at  Rileys (pictured below). This was Shane's first time ever in Ireland and we have a feeling we may be seeing a bit more of him after this.

Visit Colin's website, Surf Around Ireland.



thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Wednesday, 22 Apr 2015 at 10:58am

Ahh.. Kenny's Pub - a fine establishment! Spent many a cold windy night in there listening to local Trad with a pint.

mcbain's picture
mcbain's picture
mcbain Wednesday, 22 Apr 2015 at 1:01pm

Know that pub well.
Spent 6 weeks hanging out in Spanish Point/Lahinch and up to around Easky in autumn of 1994. Was one of the best surf trips I have ever done. So many epic uncrowded waves, and great people.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Wednesday, 22 Apr 2015 at 3:31pm

Yeah there are some excellent waves around there - scored 4-6ft Spanish Point last trip! I based the family in Lahinch but then bolted up to Co. Mayo/Sligo when it got sizeable and/or windy. 

tidak_bagus's picture
tidak_bagus's picture
tidak_bagus Wednesday, 22 Apr 2015 at 11:38am

i would kill for a Smithwicks! Such an epic spot to visit

top-to-bottom-bells's picture
top-to-bottom-bells's picture
top-to-bottom-bells Wednesday, 22 Apr 2015 at 11:41am

How has Shane got the GoPro shot?? Is there a rig above his head? In the wide shot it looks like there's something behind him which under normal circumstances I'd think was just his wetsuit string. Is that his camera rig?

njjcooney's picture
njjcooney's picture
njjcooney Wednesday, 22 Apr 2015 at 2:04pm

He may have a rig, this is a photo before they went in; looks like a harness in his hand:

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo Wednesday, 22 Apr 2015 at 1:31pm

Have you seen Ian Battricks 'Brain Pole' ? Vimeo.

Magilla's picture
Magilla's picture
Magilla Wednesday, 22 Apr 2015 at 2:05pm


Save the image of the other pic, the barrel shot from the hill. Zoom in and you can see the camera. You can just make it out in the normal pic

top-to-bottom-bells's picture
top-to-bottom-bells's picture
top-to-bottom-bells Wednesday, 22 Apr 2015 at 3:35pm

So it's like a kidney belt with pole attached? Never seen that before. Thanks Magilla and NJJC.

Fatnuts's picture
Fatnuts's picture
Fatnuts Wednesday, 22 Apr 2015 at 3:58pm

Kennys! top pub, had a few big nights in there last July. Really good trad music and pints. Great locals too.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Thursday, 23 Apr 2015 at 3:01pm

Nice clip from the morning session at Aileens.

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher Tuesday, 28 Sep 2021 at 12:56am

ABC drama series "Smother" is a must watch for County Clare surf fans & beachcombers
Filmed during the start of Covid during the Big Storm of March 2020...
Excellent Gritty Surf themed thriller of 6 x 50 min episodes. (Just watch it.)

Surf Spots featured...
Lahinch, Liscannor, Spanish Point, Fanore +
Backdrops Doolin Pier Point Line Up & heaps of Cliffs & Coastal Vistas

One of the leads is a Science teacher Surfer & beach scenes are common thru-out
You'll swear cameraman is getting paid to check out hangs for a bleak Goth surf festival.
Like clockwork he delivers viewers sets of dancing waves rather than lulls...swear it's a Surf Flick.

(Never Sunny) Actually one sunset...maybe!...was too busy checking the surf!
Like a tour of whole ragged Coastline & every cove & shit hot beach houses over looking lineups.
Best of all is the wide range of wave shapes & heights...nearly always a new wild beachscape.
Crew will be surprised at how easy to get sucked into this mostly messy a lead Actor it is!

tbb was gonna pick out highlights but the crew really must see it through as an Alt' surf classic.
The only Local Cafe hang is well off the charts wild, which is plenty better than staring at a lake.
Thriller is typically next level gritty Irish rip yer heart the bleak surf postcards offer a breather.

The series is geared around surf & constant offers of surf lessons? + occasional crowded lineups.
Massive Waves explode over the tiny toy town + wild & free range sets for all to groom...calm down!
Wild beachcomber's bleak view of a stormy coastline creeps about as a to die for Goth's Surf Flick.
tbb : Never felt so bleak & depressed from start to end. ***** Hitch a ride on the Wild Side!