Fionn Mulholland knew he’d get a strong reaction from his family when he dropped in for a visit over the holidays. But after traveling roughly 9,248 miles from his home in Perth, Australia to his family’s home in Dublin, he probably didn’t expect to be called “a little bollix” at first sight.
Mulholland, a Dublin native who works as a photographer and filmmaker, paid a surprise visit home a few days before Christmas. He filmed the reunion scenes and created a video, which was published on The Journal.ie. The video has since gone viral on Vimeo and YouTube.
In the first scene, which was shot on Grafton Street in Dublin’s city center, Mulholland enlists the help of a passerby to operate the camera as he waits outside the Brown Thomas department store for his sister.
“I met Tessa from Russia today,” he said to the camera. “She’s going to help record surprising my sister Bria.”
When Bria emerges from the store expecting to meet her friend Sarah outside the store, she stares at her brother in disbelief. Then she wallops him on the arm, shouts “You a—hole!” and them grabs him in a tearful hug. The scene is alternately touching and hilarious.
But that’s nothing compared to what’s to come.
The next reunion is with Mulholland’s mother, which took place in the kitchen of the family home. He and Bria exchage a few whispers before Mulholland calls out “Ma . . . Ma!”
Suddenly, a clearly thrilled Mrs. Mulholland bursts into the room and rushes to embrace her son – but not before whacking him on the shoulder and calling him an “effing bollix.” In true Irish mammy fashion, she is half laughing, half crying, and all hugging.
After the initial shock passes, Mrs. Mulholland puts her hand on her heart and says “I feel a little weak now.” She then grabs her son in another hug.
The final surprise is reserved for Mulholland’s father, who returns from work to find his son standing in the foyer to greet him. Mr. Mulholland breaks out into laughter, looking from Fionn to his wife as he grabs him in a hearty bear hug.
Not being one to break the family tradition of the back-handed compliment, Mr. Mullholland expresses his delight by calling his son “You little bollix.”