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When one thinks of surfing, the waves off the coasts of California, Hawaii, Tahiti, Australia, South Africa or even Portugal may come to mind, but Ireland? Perhaps, not so much. Mikey Corker’s three-part documentary Made in Ireland which chronicles the Emerald Isle’s nearly 60-year-old surf scene may change all that…


Now white-haired, Barry Britton was one of Ireland’s surfing pioneers. In the early 1960s, his mother, who owned the Sandhouse Hotel, returned from California with an order for a pair of Malibu surfboards intended for her guests to use. When the boards arrived, Britton and his four brothers took them over and the guests never had a chance to try them out.

While the Britton boys contented themselves with challenging the waves at Rossnowlagh Beach, it wasn’t until years later a new generation of surfers and bodyboarders — including Tom Gillespie, Mickey Smith, Seamus “Shambles” McGoldrick, Tom Lowe and Fergal Smith — tackled the unpredicatable, heavy waves breaking off Mullaghmore Head and elsewhere.


In Part Two of Made In Ireland, Corker focused in on Ireland’s maddest surfers – The Nutjobs – who are made up of a small, core group of friends who relish every opportunity to take on big-wave venues like Mullaghmore and Aileen’s.


In the final chapter of Corker’s documentary, we meet the foreigners who left home to live amid the foul weather and epic waves of Ireland, and who’ve helped put Irish big-wave surfing on the map.

Two such hearty souls, South African Barry Mottershead and Australian Noah Lane, came to Ireland as surf tourists, but couldn’t seem to bring themselves to board the plane back home.