Siobhan Cronin talks to popular YouTubers, the Kinsella family, who had to leave Leap last year in order to find a home big enough to take all ten of them
A family of vloggers – who published a video diary of their life in West Cork – have been forced to move to Monaghan in order to find a home big enough for their eight children.
Dave and Dani Kinsella, who blogged on YouTube from Leap, had almost 3,000 subscribers who regularly watched their channel, following the escapades of this real-life ‘Brady bunch’.
‘We really miss West Cork,’ said Dublin native Dave, explaining that the family had been renting in West Cork since 2012.
‘The rental market is very different now,’ he added, ‘and when we had to move, we just found it impossible to find anywhere in West Cork. When people found out how many children we had, we just couldn’t get a house.’
Dani was six months pregnant when their contract came up for renewal, and the couple were horrified to find they had to move as far away as Monaghan in order to get a landlord to agree to rent a house to them.
‘Monaghan is very different to Cork,’ said Dave, adding that at least he is just over an hour-and-a-half from his own family in Dublin.
‘Although it doesn’t rain as much as it did in Cork – that first summer, of 2012, I think it rained every day.’
‘It’s very similar to Dublin here, but I really wanted something different, which was why we had moved to West Cork. I wanted to give my children a different upbringing to mine.’
Dave says he is finding it hard to get used to the fact that drivers don’t wave at him anymore, like they did in West Cork.
‘When we first moved to West Cork, I found it odd that everybody waves at you, but I got into it eventually. Now I am waving at everybody and nobody is waving back – so suddenly I feel like I am judging people just because they don’t wave at me!’ he told The Southern Star.
Dave, who recorded all the family’s big events on their Kinsella Bunch family vlog, says he has stopped vlogging now that he is living in Monaghan.
First days of school, parties, making friends, cooking, trips shopping and all the humdrum of everyday life were filmed – and Dave managed to inject them with a huge amount of fun and flavour, mostly thanks to his and Dani’s infectious personalities and the hilarious on-screen antics of his delightful kids.
The couple are no strangers to moving home. They even lived for a while with an Amish community, they explain on one of their videos. The devout Christians say they liked the more conservative way of life of the people there, which suited them at the time.
But now this latest move – from Cork to Monaghan –has proved the most stressful for all of them.
‘To be honest, it has taken a lot out of us, so we are not vlogging at the moment. I have another project now, to do with online publishing, and I want to concentrate on that,’ Dave explained.
Dave rented a van and did three trips from Cork – two of them with their possessions, and the third moving the entire family by car. It was a stressful and traumatic time for them, leaving their neighbours and close friends in West Cork where they had made a home for the last few years.
Dave admits that some of their thousands of fans – who watched the regular video updates like most people would follow a TV soap opera – have expressed disappointment that, for now, the daily Kinsella family shows are no more.
One of their most popular videos was the vlog of Dani giving birth to their eighth child, Lucy, last month.
The birth was filmed in their local hospital, and received almost 2,500 views. ‘The hospital seemed to be used to people taking photos and they didn’t mind at all,’ explained Dave, who said that in Cork, filming a delivery is not permitted.
‘Up here, the nurses didn’t want to be identified, and that was fine, but they had no problem with us filming the birth. We found it all a very positive experience.’
The couple have also found a good school for the children, who have now settled in well since their move last autumn.
‘The school is first class, it’s a country school, attached to the local Presbyterian church, and they seem to have good resources there,’ he added.
But he also pointed out that there was a great feeling of security living in West Cork, that areas close to Dublin just don’t have that. ‘I think people here are more cynical too,’ he said.
‘We miss our old house, but we are glad to have a home here. It really brought home to me how people who are homeless right now must feel.
‘When we were looking at this house, I really thought, if the landlord is happy with us, we will take it straight away. Because, at the time, we really felt very vulnerable.’
When he started vlogging, Dave says, he had a belief that he had it all worked out, and could do anything.
‘But I’ve realised now, I am limited – I have limited resources and limited patience, like any family. And I didn’t want the viewers to think we were a family that had it all worked out.
‘We are struggling like any family, and you don’t see what happens behind the scenes. But we are as happy as any family. And of course, our kids were great on camera,’ he admits. ‘They are not shy and they are all nice memories to have, it is really nice to have the movies to look back on.’
But, for now, the Kinsellas life will carry on behind the scenes.
To watch the Kinsella’s videos, search ‘Kinsella Bunch’ on YouTube.