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Much Ado About Nothing


The title above is taken from a Shakespearean play, and is also an apt title for this Article as there is a lot of talk around something of which most of those gossiping know absolutely nothing about. In fact these people would prefer to gossip and talk than to ask direct questions. Are they afraid of the answers or is it simply that they prefer to think negatively about individuals that they know nothing about.


I am a “Joe Soap” fancier with, I have to admit, big aspirations. Over the last year I took on a role that at the present time I am not suited for. Through this there was one error of judgement on my part, which has been rectified I might add, and a lot of talk going around by those who know absolutely nothing about the situation except 3rd, 4th and 5th hand information. I decided to pen this article in order to give first-hand information and dispel all the nonsense going around.


I took on the role of BICC co-ordinator in Ireland at the beginning of 2016 and was my first step into administration in the sport, and hopefully not the last. For now though I do not have the time to devote to such a task and I will leave it with others that do, in the hope that they can do a far better job than myself. Having initially taken on this role I was asked to contact individuals owing subscription fees to the BICC in Ireland for 2015. I duly made contact with all I could and got responses from six members. Five sent their owed fees to myself at my address and one said he would sort it himself. This occurred through the months of March and April if I recall correctly. I should have sent these monies that arrived with me immediately to the BICC. I was remiss in this and lazy and just kept putting it off. There was a sum total of £82.50, one cheque and one postal order. I put it off so much that the cheque and postal order had run out of date by the time the BICC received them. This is something I did not realise happened. An honest mistake on my part but again happened due to my idiocy in not sending both the monies off immediately after receiving them. I was contacted several times by the secretary to send this paper work and money off and said I would but just ignored the situation myself. Something I should not have done. I agreed to do something and I should have simply done it and then none of this kafuffle would have happened. However we all know I did not and so an issue developed as the racing season closed, as so quickly happens, and this kind of blew up in my face.  In this regard it means this was not sorted for about 6 months or so. Again my error. When the blow up happened I quickly resolved the issue and sent all required paper work and monies off. This included the out of date cheque and postal order, that I genuinely did not know were out of date. Upon being told about this there was some toing and froing between myself and some BICC committee members that was resolved for my part amicably and I believe the same for the BICC. This then I considered was the end of this matter and it has been in fact apart from some gossip going around, something I consider is normal and comes from quarters with nothing better to do. I will leave the gossip as I have no time for it. As a result of the error of my way I am no longer the BICC coordinator in Ireland and wish whoever my successor is the best in the position. Further to that I look forward to working with them in the near future.


Another matter that arose through this kafuffle was the fact that I raised money for the use of Irish fanciers who would like to send birds to international races. This was initially done under the auspices of the BICC Irish Interests page, now the Irish International Interests page, on Facebook and was a sole attempt by me alone to start a fund in order for Irish fanciers to compete in International racing.

As we know to do this the Irish fancier must be a member of the BICC or the BBC in order to compete in these races. Then in order to compete these fanciers must get their birds to marking stations in the U.K. for these races. This is something I feel does not happen often enough or that fanciers do not wish to do it because of the logistics and cost involved in getting birds to the marking stations in the U.K. from Ireland. The fund I set up initially was for BICC members only and at present stands at €1276.17. This was raised through a Facebook sale of birds that were kindly donated to the sale by fanciers from both Ireland and the U.K. Something I am very grateful for is the support of these fanciers that donated and also the fanciers that subsequently bought the birds offered. It was facilitated on Facebook on the group UP IN THE SKY WITH THE MASTERS. I am also grateful to the administrators and members of this page for allowing me to carry the sale out on this page. It was simply carried out here because of the strong membership of this page and so I hoped this would aid the sale. The aim was to start a fund to assist Irish fanciers and as you can see it was well accomplished. I have attached a photo of the PayPal account as it stands with the funds available. That said, I am going to continue my efforts in raising money to assist the Irish fancier that would like to have a go at international racing which has to happen at present through the two clubs mentioned earlier.


I started down this road to help the Irish fancier in general and have my own self-interest in the mix also. I would like to have a smooth system of getting the birds to marking stations by the time I myself am ready to have a go at these international races. I myself will have to join one of these clubs to do so also and as we all know my end goal is Barcelona. For others this may not be the case and there are a multitude of other international races that Irish fanciers may wish to compete in, and this fund will also be available for those who wish to do so. Going forward I will be having another sale and will continue I hope with 2 a year at least in order to raise more funds for the use of the Irish International Aspirant. Any further funds raised will be for any member of the BBC or BICC wishing to race internationally. I will make contact with the BBC coordinator here in Ireland and let him know of whatever funds are available as we go on and also the same for the coordinator of the BICC when one is appointed. The funds presently raised are specifically for BICC members only as this is initially why these funds were raised. I would like to encourage more Irish fanciers to take up the international racing and so I will open the funds in the future in order to facilitate this.


There are some individuals who would like to question my motives for doing this and question whether or not I should be doing this? My simple response is that previously to me not one person has attempted to assist the Irish fancier in his attempts at International racing; be it as an individual or from club level in the U.K. I certainly understand that clubs have enough logistical issues ongoing without adding to these. Maybe this is why it should be up to us here in Ireland to solve this issue. As the first sale was happening through May and monies were coming into the account set up specifically for this purpose the Barcelona International was happening. As there were some funds in the account, not all that bid were paid for at this point, I contacted the Irish fancier Pat Nolan who regularly sends to The Barcelona International. He knew of the fund and I said it was there for his use if he was racing in the Barcelona race to assist him financially in getting his birds to marking. He refused this himself and was thankful for the offer.


For those that do not know for an Irish fancier that wishes to send to these international races or indeed any BBC or BICC national the cost can be upwards of €455 a breakdown of these costs might be in order here and these details were checked on the 12/01/17. Ferry €270, Petrol/Diesel €60(conservative for a 4 hour drive to and back to port), B&B €60 to €85, Food €40 a grand total of €455 (£400approx). This is without considering the time involved or loss of earnings that any individual might incur. A courier would most definitely be cheaper. We have to consider that there are other things involved for the international aspirant than money, especially from Ireland. Any fancier wanting to send has had to put 2 to 4 year’s work into any bird he would like to enter into an international race. Why then when you think about the time and effort involved in this kind of preparation would any individual wish to send birds via courier no matter how much cheaper it may well be. Further to that lets think of the social side of things. For myself I have a lot of admiration for those international competitors that regularly clock and win from the internationals. Personally I would not miss the opportunity to bring my own birds to marking in the hopes of meeting such fanciers as the Coopers, Gilbert, Delea, Padfields, Bulled, Besants and all the other big guns in the international scene.

Personally I would probably learn quite a bit from each of these people and all those others not mentioned. And also there is the opportunity for new friendships to develop and through this help to achieve the ‘Dream’.


This is before we even basket the bird for the proposed race, an average cost of €10 a bird without pools. When you think about this I can certainly understand why the Irish fancy do not take part in these races regularly irrespective of the difficulty we face in getting birds to compete from France let alone going further afield. This is the sole reason I alone decided to do something positive for the sport in Ireland. This is my sole aim and an aim I am dedicated to facilitating going forward. Some fanciers ask who am I and again should I be doing this at all. The simple answer is that there is no one else that is doing anything of note to assist us. If I do not then who will. Most of the Irish fancy are focused on sprint racing and nationally as far as France for those south road and into Scotland for those flying north road. There is no accommodation for anyone wishing to have a go internationally up until now and I will try to continue facilitating any fancier wishing to have a go regardless of the nay sayers and those that say it will never be done.


Some ask where this fund is and who has access to it. The answers to these questions are simple and easy. The fund is available in a PayPal account and is monitored by me alone. The simple reasoning behind this is that when I started this process there was no one really available to assist in the setting up or monitoring of the sale and so it was carried by myself alone. The idea is that when those individuals that wish to partake in international races wish to send birds they can contact myself and as long as the funds are there the ferry for a van will be paid for. I already have a fancier willing to act as courier and will be accompanied by myself or another individual. If the case is that there is only one fancier sending and they wish to bring their own birds to marking the fund will be there to pay for the ferry in this situation also. Hopefully as the fund grows and fanciers wishing to take part in international racing of any sort get together there will be more than one fancier wanting to send to the races and the facility will be there already to bring multiple fanciers birds to marking in one vehicle. This would be a great thing to see multiple fanciers taking up the mantle of international racing in Ireland. Something I think will be a great thing if it grows and also if fanciers are successful.


So I again would like to encourage Irish fanciers to attempt the unthinkable and see if you can clock a bird for the internationals. It was not long ago that it was said that the English fancier could not win an international and as we know now this is happening more and more often now in the U.K. we in Ireland my never win an international but we could definitely make our mark in history by successfully competing and clocking to gain positions within the international rankings. If this starts by a small few it may open the floodgates for others to have a go and at this point the system will be already there and running to assist any who want it. So good luck to all willing to have a go and I look forward to the future we will have together.


For those who wish to see also and join the BICC or BBC the website details are below for members. There is also a link to a statement recently published for the Irish Fancier members of the BICC mentioning me. I hope it is all clear and easily understood.


BICC Membership forms new and renewal:




BICC Statement:



BBC membership forms new and renewal:




So for all you Irish Fanciers wanting to have a go join in and let’s give it a bash together.


Until next time,







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