The lively video promoting Ballybunion, Co Kerry, where Garda Mary Gardiner is based, has had more than 31,000 hits in three days and a hugely positive reaction on social media.
A native of The Glen in Cork City, she is seen in uniform dancing happily around former US president Bill Clinton’s statue outside Ballybunion Garda Station.
“I always knew the video was going to be good, but didn’t think it would take off to such an extent. It’s brilliant for the town,’’ she said yesterday.
“Reaction has been amazing. Some cousins in America I hadn’t been in touch with for years have been in contact asking: is that you?’’ The video has gone viral on YouTube since it was uploaded on Monday.
It was made by an all-local cast and crew during Easter to promote Ballybunion for tourism, with Michael O’Gorman as producer and cameraman Paul Shanahan.
It portrays Ballybunion as a fun resort, with laughing, dancing people, blue skies, golden beaches, towering cliffs and a magnificent world-class golf links. Hundreds of locals took part singing Pharrell Williams’ song, ‘Happy’, including firemen, children, Tidy Towns committee members, supermarket staff and golfers.
Garda Gardiner, now known as the “dancing garda”, said the production was giving a fantastic boost to Ballybunion and helping to lift spirits after some recent sad events locally.
“It’s like an Irish Santa Ponza when you look at it,’’ she remarked.
“There’s a great community here and people are wonderful for working together to promote the place. ’’