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From the Barrow Valley - 28-02-22

From the Barrow Valley

Sometimes I wonder about the agenda of people, particularly those that post on social media.

Just recently I read how terrible the support to Irish pigeon fanciers was at the moment, by the ETS company Unikon, especially when it came to activating the system for the new season. It was said that no phone calls or e-mails were being answered and that there was no way of getting through to get any service from the company. Having dealt with Unikon from day one back as far as 2006 when we tested the first ETS system ever used in the south of Ireland, I was surprised at this revelation, as over the years there was never any problem, a quick phone call each year in February would result in our system being activated there and then, so why should this year be any different. So it was with a little trepidation that I set up our club system and rang Unikon to activate. Having got through I was a bit surprised to be advised that a new system was in place and that I should now e-mail my request to activate, so that’s what I did, having done that I rang Clair in sales to confirm receipt of my e-mail, which she done at a glance and then reassured me that we would hear from the technical department asap. Sure enough, we were contacted initially by Luke to confirm the name of the club I was representing, and then within a few minutes we had our activation code supplied and entered and we are now ready to rock for 2022 no drama. I would like to thank Clair in sales and Luke our technical adviser for the prompt attention to our request for activation and the best of luck to Unikon during these awkward and trying times for businesses large & small. Credit where credit is due.

At our own lofts the breeding is in full swing, however we will not be keeping any of the first round young birds, ten will be sold, the rest will go to a good friend to try out, these are not early bred which means the young birds we keep for ourselves later on will be bred quite late in the year but yet early enough to be able to get some racing into them, this will be a big change for us as we usually have a full team of young birds out on the landing board in early February having mated up in late November, not knocking that practice but it has just become too much of a chore for us, also we are carrying way too many old birds that have not been tested enough. If we race hard this year and not have too many young birds to look after we should be back on track with a reasonable sized team for next year.

Talking to some of the local lads it seems they are all looking forward to the coming season, there are some good teams about and most are a little stronger in number than the usual, this is as a result of some good racing that we have been experiencing in the last two years, being transported with the South Central fed has proved very successful and it is hoped that this year we will not only be transported by them but we will actually be competing in that fed if our application to join is accepted, in my opinion this is what should be happening, why have two small feds when we can now have one good sized fed with over two thousand birds per week racing, this is the type of competition that the members of our club the Barrow Valley RPC will be looking forward to. Next time I will do a pre-season review of the fanciers in our area, a prediction if you like, of who I think will be doing the damage in the different races during the coming year.

At our AGM earlier in the year, we had agreed to purchase four new cups to add to the seven we already have and that will insure that there will be a silver cup up for grabs on every National race that our club competes in. Two of these new cups will be put on the Skibbereen inland Nationals, old bird and young bird, organised by the INFC, the other two will be put on the Valentia inland Nationals, old bird 1 and young bird 1 organised by the IHUNFC.

So, all to play for in our club this year.

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One of the four new cups purchased by the Barrow Valley RPC for competition in 2022.

At National level, the IHUNFC held its AGM in the Clubhouse Hotel in the city of Kilkenny on Saturday the 26th of February, both sets of accounts for the past two years were presented by Treasurer Richie Mullane, audited by Neill Crean & Kevin Papzian of Cork, thanks are extended to all three men for a difficult job well done under the current circumstances. Patsy Dowling was returned as President as were Mick Murphy & Richie Mullane as Chairman and Secretary, respectively.

Important points from the agenda were the inclusion of a Yearling National that will be competed for in conjunction with the Penzance old bird National, two separate results, with the yearlings also being allowed to compete in the old bird national as well. Also the National committee are delighted to accept quite a sizable amount of new members from the west of Ireland who want to compete in the National events with the IHUNFC, this could definitely be a source of more members for the IHUNFC as the popularity of pigeon racing increases in the west of Ireland.

This year the old bird programme will include two inland Nationals from Valentia, two cross channel races including the new Yearling National from Penzance and finally the Old bird National from St Malo which has become one of the most important races on these islands, second only to the Kings Cup. For the young birds we will have two inland nationals from Valentia and one cross channel event from Pembroke docks, all the young bird races are all keenly supported and competed in. Hopefully we will have another successful season.

Well that’s it for this time, good luck & keep safe.

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Pioter collecting Cup & Diploma on behalf of Slavic.

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Mr & Mrs Leon Gaffney collection their Cup & Diploma for 1st Open Valentia.

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Corcoran & Keegan receiving their Diploma for 1st section "C" Pembroke y/b Nat from IHUNFC president Patsy Dowling.

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Martin Walsh, Dublin receiving his Cup & Diploma for 1st Open St Malo from IHUNFC president Patsy Dowling.