A PHOTO of a Norwegian family, taken after they had won a holiday of a lifetime to visit Dunmanway in the summer of 2016, has gone viral around the world.
The photo, which appeared on The Southern Star’s website, was used by anti-Trump supporters online after his comment that Norwegians would be more welcome to come to the United States than immigrants from ‘sh**hole countries.’
However, Viggo Haule and his family were less than impressed that their picture was being used in political statements and he contacted the paper this week to highlight it.
‘I’m not very fond of Mr Trump, but I feel uncomfortable watching the picture of my kids being used in political statements over there,’ Viggo told The Southern Star.
‘A fictitious letter from “a Norwegian family” circulated online and the people who wrote it used the picture of us. The first person who made this letter took the whole feed down after I contacted him, and another man also removed our picture after my wife Linda asked him to. I think it was used to show what a typical Norwegian family looks like.’
Viggo was keen to stress that when contacted by him and his wife Linda, those responsible were very polite and understanding, and removed the picture immediately and replaced it with a picture of a Norwegian coastal town.
One fictitious letter, penned by the “Aanenson family” outlined 10 reasons why the Norwegian family wouldn’t be moving to the United States any time soon.
The post comprised a dialogue about why a Norwegian family would reject President Trump’s offer to re-locate and the author presumed the picture of the Taule-Leikanger family was fictitious.
The author later said: ‘What happened was beyond my wildest imagination, I learned something. It went internationally viral. Within 38 hours, it had 9,500 response, 6,700 shares – crazy,’ he said.
‘Incredibly, the actual family saw it on Facebook. The father respectfully asked me to take it down. I apologised to him. He was very gracious. I never anticipated they would see it.’
Viggo asked The Southern Star to remove the picture from our website as it was the top result in a Google search for ‘Norwegian family’.
Viggo and his family’s association with Dunmanway came about after they found a balloon in the forest near their home outside Bergan in June 2016. It had been released by the town’s Chamber of Commerce six months previously. The family ended up being flown to visit Dunmanway and West Cork later that summer.