“I started this about age 10 when my uncle, who had some pigeons, showed me how to take care of them. Now, 40 years on, this is the first year I can focus on them fully because I have no more job commitments! The only difference is that it’s getting harder to go up the ladder! But I race them every week from Cork, Kerry, sometimes from as far away as France. We send them out with the pigeon club and they release them from different locations. Sometimes they are releasing up to 10 thousand pigeons at the same time, and people bet on them; similar to the horse racing. You can make a few bob on them – some of the big races are worth 5-10 thousand pounds. How do the pigeons knows where to go? I don’t know, no one knows, but you do have to train them. We take them 2 miles, then 5 miles, then 10 miles away, let them go and they come back here. Then you bring them further and further – we have these rings on them so you can keep track of which one arrives first. The numbers are registered to the breeder’s name in the pigeon club. One day I lost a lot of money because of a stupid mistake: the pigeons were released from Skibbereen down in Cork. It was nice weather and I was cleaning the nests with my sunglasses on when I saw them arriving, but the first ones just flew over my head and didn’t even stop! Then I realised that my sunglasses were on, so I just threw them away and the others flew straight in; the first ones simply hadn’t recognised me.”


They grow pretty fast! This one is only 3 days old.”


“These are about 8 days old.”


“And this one is about 25 days old.”



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *