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GEOFF McMULLAN OF DONACLONEY
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The excellent Lofts and Gardens of Geoff & Stanley McMullan

Geoff McMullan has over the last few seasons cemented himself as one of the most consistent flyers ever to come from the Co.Armagh town of Donacloney. Racing pigeons for some 20 years Geoff reached the top of the NIPA Open within two years of competitive competition at the age of 13 topping the mighty NIPA from Kilkenny his winner beating 28,000 other hopefuls in the process. Subsequent years and maturity have taught Geoff what an achievement that actually was, much time and money has been spent and wasted just not by Geoff over the years but by many fanciers trying to achieve that said same goal.

Geoff now aged 31 and married, has competed during all of his pigeon career with the Donacloney HPS which is affiliated to Section G of the Mighty NIPA (Northern Ireland Provincial Amalgamation). Section G in itself contains some of the best fanciers who have ever raced pigeons in Northern Ireland, some names that come to mind, Donnelly Brothers of Newry winners of 26 x 1st NIPA Open’s; Mr Consistency Ron McKelvey, Newry; Mr Gerald (Wily Jacobs) Delaney, Dromore; The Much respected Maguire family of Newry; closer to home the never to be dismissed Eddie Murray Ashfield. These are only some of the elite that are in the lion’s den of Section G which spans from Donacloney right down into Newry and surrounding areas. To win Section G especially up into the north of the Section is no easy fate considering the calibre of fanciers that have to be beat on the way up each week.

The McMullan lofts are sited on the Moygannon Road as you drive through the picturesque
town of Donacloney and going by what I was quoted “were the house with the post box outside“. On arriving to meet Geoff for the first time I was firstly met by his father Stanley and then Geoff, we proceeded down the side of the house into a beautiful developed garden that is on par with Geoff’s pigeon development over the last few years. The (L) shaped lofts are right at the end of the garden facing a rather large hedge (’Becher’s Brook’) I was told. This hedge obviously shelters the loft from the superb openness that surrounds the loft in its glory an excellent example of the un-built openness that is common around this part of the world.

After looking into the results over the last couple of years 2005 and 2006 Geoff in my own opinion has to a certain aspect accomplished the art of pigeon racing, I have always known the saying “anybody can race young birds“, Geoff is the complete opposite he can race O/Birds and has proven that fact over the last three seasons, that’s including the small bit we have already travelled this year in 2007. Club 1st after club 1st and very prominently placed in both Section G and the overall NIPA Open. Young Birds are the reverse of the coin, although looking at the team he has for this year, if administered with the right regimental, disciplined system he will have what could be his best year to date since the heights witnessed in 1989.

2005 RESULTS OBTAINED BY GEOFF McMULLAN

Old Birds Mullingar - 09/04/05 1st Club 13th Section; Kilkenny - 16/04/05 1st Club 29th Section G 119/2167 finishing 148th Open 1236/25,214; Kilkenny (2) - 24/04/05 1st Club 3rd, 9th, 12th & 33rd Section G 119/2177 finishing 65th & 142nd Open 1297/26,120; Tullamore - 01/05/05 1st Club, 22nd & 35th Section 123 members sent 2293; Talbenny (1) 21/05/05 - 1st Club, 32nd Section 102/1195; Talbenny (2) 29/05/05 1st Club 8th Section G 97/1031, 77th Open 1102/13009; Thurles 28/05/05 - 1st & 2nd Club, 9th & 10th Section G 66/784, 84th & 110th Open 568/7099; Bude 11/06/05 - 1st Club 31st Section 99/856; Young Birds Tullamore - 06/08/05 1st Club 24th Section G 106/1929, 137th Open 1022/18,282; Thurles - 13/08/05 1st Club 28th Section G 115/2551 - 126th Open 1128/22,319;

2006 RESULTS OBTAINED BY GEOFF McMULLAN


INFC Skibbereen O/B Inland National 73rd Open 359/2355; Tullamore 15/04/06 - 1st, 2nd & 3rd Club, 6th, 27th & 30th Section G 108/2206, 80th Open 1100/22,575; Thurles 22/04/06 - 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th & 6th Club, 6th, 8th, 16th, 22nd, 23rd & 27th Section G 119/2592; Fermoy 29/04/06 - 1st Club, 3rd, 9th & 27th Section G 127/2930, 7th & 98th Open 1250/26,627; Thurles 06/05/06 - 1st & 2nd Club, 8th & 11th Section 120/2494; Yearling Cocks National 2nd, 3rd & 7th Section 30/92, 61st, 63rd & 94th Open 302/1090; Yearling Hens National 2nd Section 28/29, 27th Open 268/967; Rosscarbery Inland O/B National 1st Club, 3rd, 16th & 22nd Section G, 24th, 124th, 185th & 257th Open 955/7832; Pilmore Beach 20/05/06 - 1st & 2nd Club, 5th, 8th & 24th Section 111/2061, 26th, 40th & 122nd Open 1087/19,598; Talbenny (1) 27/05/06 - 1st, 2nd & 3rd Club, 23rd, 25th & 29th Section G; 108th, 116th & 14th Open 1075/14,998; Talbenny (2) 03/06/06 - 1st & 2nd Club, 16th & 41st Section G 98/1111, 59th & 162nd Open 989/11,205; Mallow 5 Bird 10/06/06- 1st Club 23rd Section G; 17/06/06 Sennen Cove 2nd Club, 22nd Section G 89/845. Young Birds - Mullingar 15/07/06 - 1st Club, 2nd Section G 35th Open 216/5135; Tullamore 22/07/07 - 1st Club, 12th Section G 22nd Open 314/7500; Thurles 05/08/06 - 1st & 2nd Club, 4th & 18th Section G 106/2545, 22nd & 77th Open 1078/25,456; Roscarbery 03/09/07 - 2nd Club 10th Section G 46/322, 92nd Open 515/3824. Now that is 22 x 1st Clubs in the space of two years with the vast majority of them obtained through O/B racing.


Geoff pictured with my goodself holding his two arrivals from Rosscarbery O/B Inland National 2007

With the Old Bird season of 2007 very near completion the loft once again has probably had the best O/B season of the three :- Roscrea 28/04/07 1st Club, 7th, 20th, 25th & 29th Section G 125/2905; Clonmell 05/05/07 1st Club, 3rd, 17th & 44th Section G 126/3,033, 69th Open 1277/28,928; Pilmore Beach 13/05/07 1st Club, 13th Section G 121/2838, 22nd Open 1214/26,056; Roscarbery O/B Inland National 1st Club, 1st Section G 70/612, 3rd Open 860/6,762; Pilmore (2) 1st Club, 9th, 10th, 14th & 26th Section G 118/2,566, 22nd, 25th, 37th & 79th Open 1191/24,862; Barleycove Yearling Hens National 1st Club, 3rd Section G 32/142, 14th Open 278/1035; Sennen Cove Classic 1st Club, 5th Section G 56/375, 14th Open 461/2821; Sennen Cove O/Birds 1st Club, 7th Section 78/698, 20th Open 798/7,911. Another 8 x 1st Clubs so far in 2007 once again in the O/Birds.

No special secrets as far as systems and feeding is concerned, Stanley told me Geoff is never left the loft which would add up to the report that the lofts are scrapped at least three to four times a day. I often think to myself, when you here of such dedication in any success story you come to realize why people win and others don’t. Geoff is fortunate to work close by, but still decides to spend his lunch times with his prized possessions, returning after work to the lofts, often skipping dinner.

The main racing loft is 20ft x 6ft which has around 24 individual boxes, and a closed section in the Left hand side of the same loft for the hens, racing a successful combination of Widowhood, Roundabout and Natural combined. Not easy but its working, racing a total of 18 cocks and 13 hens. Walking around the loft it was amazing to see the calibre of racing pigeons, no specific breeds, Geoff has a no nonsense attitude as far as pigeons goes they win they stay the others are rooted out regardless of what the cost was. Romain Legiest of Oostakker was pigeons that Geoff and Stanley obtained from Alan Brown of Dunedin some years ago and these are still the main instrumental structure of the breeding loft. These have been accompanied by Sootjens and Van Den Bosche of fellow Club mate and prolific flyer Eddie Murray who races both in the Ashfield and Donacloney Clubs.


O/Bird Racing specialist Geoff McMullan holding his prized pigeon 'The Good Pied Hen'

When you keep such a small team of racers it is no surprise to learn that many of them are multiple prize winners with very few in the loft if any who haven’t cards to their name. I had heard about two outstanding racers and more so the reason for my visit was to see the ’Gaby Cock’ following the lofts 1st Sect G, 3rd Open Rosscarbery O/B Inland National with some 6,700 birds competing this pigeon also finished 3rd Section G and 7th Open from Fermoy last season with 27,000 birds competing. He was one of the best racers to come out of an order of 24 youngsters that Geoff purchased from John Abernathy of Hillsborough who runs a very tidy Stud. The other outstanding pigeon is known as ‘The Good Pied Hen’ she finished 2nd Section G and 27th Open in the Pilmore Beach Yearling Hens National, 7th Federation, 22nd Section G and 185th Open Rosscarbery; 5th Section G 1st Federation and 26th Open Pilmore Beach; Thurles 6th Section G, Clonmell 44th Section G of the NIPA never out of the clock Geoff says.

Feeding is Verselle-Laga Diet 2000 mixed with Verselle-Laga Super Widowhood, supplements are very few only using (Matrix)over the corn with the drinking water always carrying the Natural Line supplement. This feeding is used all year round even with the youngsters which are raced on the darkness system. The only difference being that the youngsters are weaned on a good Irish Mix.

Very well done to Geoff and father Stanley who are enjoying an excellent period of success, and long may it continue. Geoff told me he long desires to win the Open from Roscarbery in all he couldn’t have got any closer this year beat by Derek & Ian Edgar of Dromore who were just 3 yards quicker.

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Adie McCormick
Ireland’s Own Pigeon Auctions
Tel. 028 92604778
Email celestiallofts@aol.com

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