Portrait by John Finucane
Interview by Cian Eades
We’re rolling. OK big man, tell the people what your name is and where you’re from.
My name is Cillian Fitzpatrick and I’m from Sixmilebridge in County Clare, Ireland.
So you skate Limerick a lot, but you’re not actually from here?
No, I just skate Limerick the whole time. My house is only 20 minutes from the city centre, so that’s why I’m always skating in Limerick.
What was it like growing up in a village like Sixmilebridge? I take it you were the only skater there?
Yeah I was the only skater. I just skated outside of my house, that’s where I learnt all of the basics. Then I found out about the indoor skatepark (Raw Cycles, Limerick), and that’s when I started skating with other people.
Who were some of the people that you used to skate with when you came into Limerick?
So I already knew Stritch (Jamie Fairbrother) and Rueben (Shortt) from Raw, and I’d seen all of Scobey’s (Stephen McGuane) videos…
Like a Limerick lurking Andrew Reynolds, Cillian frontside flips the whole lot. Photo: John Finucane.
Did Stritch and Reuben give you skateboard lessons at Raw?
They did (laughs). They were doing a skate school where it was just like a big session, and they would be there to give pointers; it was more of a friendly thing really than a ‘school’, but they would teach you new tricks and all of that stuff, they would help you out if you needed it. It was just a good buzz, really.
Did they actually teach you anything?
They were there more for encouragement than teaching, you know? But they definitely helped.
How long after that did you start coming in street skating with all the Limerick guys?
Well I was probably skating in Raw for two years before I ever came into Limerick city. My parents weren’t too stoked on me coming to the skatepark in town because it had a pretty bad reputation back in the day. I had to wait until I was a bit older to come, but I was probably 13 or 14 when I started skating with you and all, in town.
Long old Galway frontside tailslide. Photo: John Finucane.
I remember you used to come to the park and you’d have the helmet on, and you’d only be there for half an hour to an hour, before your parents would come pick you up. Then you were getting older and you were left into town, coming around street skating with us…it’s actually been cool seeing you progress, learning tricks like crazy.
Yeah, that was really just because I was hanging around with older skaters who were way ahead of me. Skating with older skaters really pushed me more, and I learned so much quicker compared to if I just skated with kids my age. All of the kids that were my age who skated back in the day all quit, so I was the only person my age. I had to come into town and skate with you and everyone so I wasn’t skating on my own, basically.
Do you do many other things outside of skating?
I like to sew; I have a sewing machine at home. I kind of started that a year or two ago, so I just make pants and a few other things as well, but I’m going to go to college next year and study fashion design because that’s something I really enjoy. I have a separate Instagram for my clothing, actually - @selfinducedemf.wittaironcore.
That’s good, man. You’ve got a wise head on your shoulders at a young age. So in the last two years you’ve really come on the scene, with the clips that have been popping up on your Instagram, and the footage you had in the Quay Skate Co. video Lough. How was it filming for the Quay video?
It was really you fully putting the idea out there to film a video and getting everyone motivated to actually start going into the streets and filming.
Which is kind of hard in Limerick because we don’t have a lot of spots, and we have to make do with what we have. That bump to bar ollie you did, I walked by that spot every day for years and never even considered it was skateable. To see you do that was something else; it was on another level.
That was fully the hype that day. We had a massive crew, the Dublin and Cork boys were all up, and it was so hype. I don’t think I’d be able to do that ollie again if I went back.
So in the last year you also had the last part in Love it Here, the Nah Dublin video. Are you working on anything else?
As far as skate videos go, it’s just the new Quay video we’re filming for right now. I haven’t heard much from Nah about a new video or anything. Other than filming, I want to make some clothing for sale as well, for the homies.
I’m wearing the jeans right now and they are good! So your ma is actually French, right? What was it like growing up with a French mum? Did you go to France much when you were younger?
Yeah, we’d go to France every summer until COVID to visit my granny, but we’re getting back into going a bit more consistently now. My granny lives in the countryside two hours south of Lyon, in a small village called Barbières. I can’t speak French that well (laughs). We’d never really speak it at home, but I wish I knew how to speak French fluently, that would be so handy, but I only ever learnt it at school.
Fakie heelflip Dublin's Grattan nine. Photo: Naoise McCarthy.
Do you reckon your mum is bummed that you don’t speak French?
I don’t know…not really. If she wanted me to speak French she would have taught me. I’d say she probably wished I did a bit better at it at school, maybe.
So when you came to London with us last year, was that your first time out of the country without your parents?
Yeah that was the first time I’d ever gone overseas without my parents, and that was my first skate trip as well.
How did you find being in a big city like London, meeting pros and skating famous spots?
I loved it. I was just being a tourist really, seeing so many amazing skaters was something that I’m not really used to at all. It was so much fun.
You better get used to it because you’ll probably be doing a lot of traveling. You’re so young, you’ve got years ahead of you and I’m looking forward to seeing what you bring! So we’d better wrap this up; have you got any last words or shout outs?
Thanks to you Cian, mainly, for basically being there from the start and encouraging me to get into filming and all that. Thanks to Dylan and Aaron Quinn from Nah for sending me clothes and all, I really appreciate that. John Finucane from Seoul for shooting the photos for the interview, and Naoise (McCarthy) and Luke (Croon) for shooting the whole time as well.
Alright big man, thank you.
Follow Cillian - @cillian__fitz