Northern Ireland Continental Club -

Homer's Odyssey - News From Around Ireland by Willie Reynolds BHW & RP Scribe and PO for NIPA, INFC and RPRA (Irish Region).

Northern Ireland Continental Club -

Postby willie reynolds » Fri Dec 11, 2020 4:37 pm

Welcome everyone. Hopefully this will be a constructive group, with one objective. To promote Long distance racing into Ireland. We all know how good Northern Irish long distance pigeons are, lets strive to promote them in a coherent and professional manner. Any ideas on how we can make this happen, or what you as racers wan’t please let us all know. This is an open forum where everyone's opinion is valid. Anyone who would like to become a member please contact Martin O Neill or myself Jonathan Bailie.

What's it about?
An informal meeting was held in Banbridge British legion hall in May 2020, this meeting was attended by 5 men who had the interests of long-distance continental pigeon flying at heart. The outcome from that meeting was a resolution to form a club to be called the Northern Ireland Continental club, its purpose was that it would,


A guideline was prepared to help identify and develop the core values and reason for the

1:- Provide annual awards by duplicating results from existing French race points with the INFC, EDC, NIPA and Ulster Federation:
2:- Organise social events such as moots, breeder buyer, presentation nights and sales.
3:- Promote and support members wishing to send to additional continental races with the BICC and BBC and investigate the possibility of increasing opportuniites for additional races from France.
4:- Produce regular marketing material on social media platforms and existing racing pigeon publications. This content to include loft reports, Race results, video content and historical literature.

2020 has been a very difficult year for us all. It is true to be said that some organisations dealt with the challenges presented with differing levels of success. One thing however shone through, the resilience and determination of the Northern Irish pigeon fanciers to get racing. To this end it is important to identify the order of importance which the points raised at the initial meeting should be put.

1:- Additional racing from continental race points. This is what the fancier is crying out for. Most lofts this year only had 1 French race instead of the customary 3.
In 2021 it is proposed that the members of the NICC will have access to a minimum of 5 French races providing that the INFC gets racing in 2021.

It was muted that the races should not be called nationals. Never has the term national been more appropriate than when used to describe NICC races. The membership is open to anyone who lives within the boundaries of Northern Ireland.

They will not be Provincials as Northern Ireland is not a province, Northern Ireland is an Internationally recognised country so therefore the term National is more than appropriate to describe these races.

This in particular applies to the mass liberation at St. Malo or wherever for the traditional old bird race for the NIPA, EDC and Ulster federation. Any member from any of those organisations can apply to become a member of the NICC. We are not a competing organisation we are a complimentary organisation. The NICC result from St. Malo will be from the fastest velocities from all 3 organisations. This therefore will give an overall Northern Ireland National old bird champion.

Additionasl races (2 old bird and 1 young bird) have already been organised and facilities put in place with an official BICC marking station in Dublin.

2:- Duplication of results will be used for members competing in the INFC nationals again this is designed to give Northern Ireland national champions.
Again this is not meant in any way to take away from the INFC result. It just means that the 1st bird home into Northern Ireland is the national champion of Northern Ireland even if it is 50th open for all Ireland it is still 1st national Northern Ireland.

People keep racing pigeons to race, this is the key driving factor. It must be the over-riding goal of the NICC to help promote and develop long distance racing and leave it in a fit and vibrant state that will attract young people into the sport and encourage some older ones to stay in the sport.

Racing pigeons is a sport unlike any other. You have a true cross mix of communities, cultures and strata of society all with one goal to win. It is the firm belief of everyone involved with the NICC that we have some of the greatest pigeon fanciers on the planet, here in our 6 counties. Fanciers who can stand shoulder to shoulder with any fancier from Belgium or Holland.

The pigeons we fly are the toughest and bravest that exist anywhere. Yet we have no profile or respect around the world. It is a common thread on social media from fanciers bemoaning the difference in price the fancy names in Belgium and Holland get for birds that can’t hold a candle to what we already have here at home. Our birds don`t amass results against 60 to 100 birds they compete in many cases against up to 20,000 birds

It is time for the pigeon fanciers of Northern Ireland to step out of the shadows and proclaim in a unified voice we are here and deserve to be respected and taken seriously. This is where promotion comes in.

The NICC will work tirelessly to help promote the Northern Irish distance bird and the brave fanciers who nuture and prepare their charges for the most difficult route in the world.

To this end we will develop a website that’s sole purpose will be to promote and record Northern Irelands long distance pigeon flyers worldwide.
The web domain name has already been acquired and construction of the website will be ongoing over the winter.

The club’s website name is

Part of the website will be devoted to the history of the Northern Ireland racing pigeon and is hoped that as many members as possible will contribute old photos, race reports, video etc to be used for promotional purposes around the world.

Any one who has looked at the BICC website will have seen the results database. This is an interactive feature that allows results to be searched either by race, fancier or pigeon ring number. This is an invaluable resource for people looking to buy birds or to research performances. It is the intention to have the same facility on the new NICC website. This feature will be added at the end of the 2021 season after racing is completed.

It is also our intention to do regular loft reports etc All information to be housed on the website.

Social media is everywhere, we all use it we slag each other of on it and congratulate each other on it. No successful organisation can exist without social media. It will therefore be essential to have a team of proficient social mediaists to develop this side of the club to raise and maintain our profile around the world. The medium of video is king, it will be a goal of the club to have its own youtube channel this will be used to produce promotional videos on Northern Irish distance birds as well as loft reports, liberations etc.

Setting up a club of like-minded fanciers is the easy part. Making that club something different something that people will be proud to be a member of will be the hard task. With the right will and support from the pigeon people of Northern Ireland we can build a club for the 21st century, a club that will help to put Northern Irish pigeons were they belong on top.

The clubs Motto is Quod est futuri nostrum. THE FUTURE IS OURS. Together let’s make it happen.

The old Ulster Conintental FC, secretary was J C Greerr of Ballyclare.
willie reynolds
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