|From The Fair City
With Kevin Barry & Tucker Daniel
Hello folks hope your keeping well and the birds are the way you want them at this the final run in to the new season.
Its also the time of year when if you are involved in one loft races within these islands your getting the birds ready to be sent to the lofts.
We are involved in quite a few this year within our club, just got the youngsters for Andy Galleys "pigeon chat" race away last weekend, we have 7 teams of 3 gone with everyone in the syndicate putting one bird up, it's a bit of fun and not too expensive doing it this way and hopefully will give us something to look forward to during the summer. Thanks to Mick Hickey who transported the birds over for us and managed to find the lofts even though I gave him the wrong phone number for Andy.
The number I gave him was that of the landlady of a pub we drank in when we were in Manchester last year, I was sending her text messages telling her the birds would be arriving around 6pm and to make sure there would be someone there and to make matters worse she was texting me back saying everything was fine, I don't know who was worse but they got there in the end.
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Tucker takes over the teaching duties.
Another race we have a couple of teams in is the Galway One Loft. Congratulations to Mike and his team the race is now full and should be a great occasion. My club the Sarsfield R.P.C. kindly sponsored 2 teams for local schools and this year as well as the school that were involved last year St. Michaels in Ballyfermot we have gone down the road and invited Inchicore National School to take part. Tuckers daughter Jessica is a pupil there and we went to visit them and show them the youngsters. I remember from last year the faces of the kids when they see the youngsters and get to hold them and these kids where exactly the same. Their teacher Ms McEvoy and class assistant Katrina had obviously taken some time on the subject with the children before we arrived because we were bombarded with questions as soon as we walked in the door, after the Q & A session we went around the whole class and let all the kids hold one of the youngsters ( who incidentally have been named "Angel" and "Fluffy") I still have to get the names from the other school yet but I'm sure you will be able to spot them when looking through the basketing lists when the races start . Hopefully the birds will make a mark during the summer and give the kids something to cheer about as well as winning a few quid for the hard pressed schools.
Another good idea I have heard off lately is of a local business man from Tallaght Ray Coughlin who races in the Tallaght club has sponsored a young 15 year old lad who joined the Greenhills club this year, Ray has kindly agreed to pay the lads fees and any other club expenses I'm sure all the lads up there will look after this very rare thing these days a new starter, well done Ray and every one involved, maybe this could start a trend with business men looking after any young kids we can entice into the sport.
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"Angel" being well handled
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"Fluffy" gets a rub.
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Jessica and her pals
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Just as well the birds were tame.
A young bird auction will take place in the Sarsfield R.P.C. on Monday 7th of April viewing 7pm till 8pm sale starts 8pm sharp.
All proceeds from this charity auction will go to St. Catherine's ward in Harold's cross hospice who made Pat Holmes late wife Sylvia's last days as comfortable as possible.
This really is a great cause and the lads who have organised the sale have pulled out all the stops and have assembled one of the best draft of top quality youngsters I have ever seen. Birds from all over Ireland and the U.K. including present I.S.R.F. champ Gerry O Mara, 2 from a pair of Open winners from Derek Cummins. Cabras Mr consistent Terrance O Brien. Double winner and 2005 champion Alan Best, Kings cup winner Jimmy Cullen, Europa classic winners Gibb & Byrne, Liverpool's Mr Hartog John Gerard, top UNC partnership Brownlee, Nee & Ward, a couple from Henry McLaughlin, John Byrne 1st INFC 2007 and many more, check out
www.racingpigeon.ie for full sales list and they will even bid at the auction for you if you cant make it, should be a corker don't miss it.
Just got back from a short trip to Scotland to visit some of the lads we met in Dublin last year.
Myself and "Big" Kevin headed off at 5.00am Sunday morning to catch the 7.30 boat from Belfast
First up we stopped off in Clackmannon to call in on Frank (dooman) Baille and his lovely wife carol (Carol always had a soft spot for me but don't say anything to Frank) we had lunch and seen all the doos and even got out of eating Franks sausage rolls, thanks very much pal it was great seeing you both and I hope the summer goes well and the lads get back safe and sound.
Off then to Dundee and John Duthies house where we would spend the night, its unbelievable to think that although I have met John on a couple of occasions and got on great with him he invited what to him and his wife, the absolutely amazing Christine would have been 2 strangers to stay in their house but as soon as we arrived we were made feel right at home, fed with the best dinner I have had in years including a wee bit of haggis and shown some of the best birds I have ever handled, after breakfast another feast we headed up to see Andy Thompson's set up. Himself and Billy where hard at it cleaning out and Andy showed me around the beautiful lofts and his new distance imports and we where then brought in for more tea and chocolate biscuits. On the way back to catch the boat we dropped in to Jim Cullen's house and again even though Jim had quite a bit on his plate at the time we where shown all the birds (an amazing loft of distance pigeons every bird a cracker) and his wife Jean cooked a beautiful meal for us, again we were made feel completely relaxed, the only trouble with the trip was it was too short but the hospitality we were shown was second to none, everyone we met treated us like long lost friends and looked after my dad, who hasn't been well of late like their own. Trips like this just go to show how many good people are left in the sport and goes a long way to restoring you faith in humanity.
Well that's it for now, I am working on a loft report for Mr + Mrs P. Byrne at the moment and hope to have it done very shortly. Then its full steam ahead for the racing, I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone the very best of luck for the coming season and if you have anything for the column just get in touch with either myself or Tucker.