Big break comes after 90 years for granny in music video by Cork-based director 

Big break comes after 90 years for granny in music video by Cork-based director 

Shaun O'Connor's grandmother Kathleen, watching the video she stars in

A CORK-BASED director overlooked conventional models and actors for a high-profile new music video, opting instead to recruit his granny as the star.

Shaun O’Connor, who lives in Dillons Cross, was thrilled after being approached to direct Voice UK star Elly O’Keeffe. The song ‘Gold’ was initially meant to be about a break-up. However, for Shaun it elicited very different feelings indeed. The song, he said, reminded him of his grandmother, who is still adapting to life without her husband Seán.

“My grandmother Kathleen, who is now in her nineties, lost my granddad Seán a few years ago. She has been living on her own ever since. Up until his death, they were like love-struck teenagers. I can still remember them flirting with each other like they had only just met.”

Shaun recorded footage of his grandmother going about her daily routine while still pining for the love of her life. He then blended it with old footage of the couple together during happier times.

“I went back to Castleisland and hung around for seven days,” he explained. “There were days where she was too tired to talk. I just let her go about her day and filmed around her.”

The director was glad to have the time to learn about his granny and grandad’s life together.

“I got a lot of footage of her looking through old photographs. I took them all with me and scanned every one of them. I also got as many old VHS tapes as I could along with my family’s old phone footage. It took months and months to go through everything. It was lucky that I got the footage before the lockdown happened as I was able to devote all that time to editing.”

Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, Shaun and Kathleen have been unable to watch the video together.

“I emailed it to Kathleen and her home help was able to show her the video,” he said. “She is thrilled and now feels like a movie star.”

The director is being hailed a hero during Positive Ageing Week, which takes place this week and celebrates the contribution of older people.

  • Watch Elly O’Keeffe and Shaun O’Connor’s video for Gold at www.shaunoconnor.com/project/elly-o-keeffe-gold/

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