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Skibbereen Young Bird National North Section Top Ten




Brendan McLoughlin

Skibbereen Young Bird National North Section Top Ten



1st North Section, J Vage & Son Dromore, Vel 1337, flying 236 miles, winning £597


1st North Section is J Vage & Son of Dromore. The partnership consists of son Joey and father Joe who has not had great health this last while but hopefully this result will give him a lift and as Joey says, this is one for his dad. The bird timed is a blue cheq hen, which was bred by Joey's good friend Wayne Doonan and is Heremans-Ceusters/Marina Van de Velde breeding. Raced on darkness, she was sent to the race sitting 16-day eggs. She had raced much of the programme, winning a couple of 5ths in the club and was 8th Section in the Fermoy 5-Bird with the N.I.P.A. Joey gave the young birds a couple of tosses per week from 20 mile. The feeding is Versele-Laga with pinhead oatmeal used as a titbit. The loft was also 23rd Open N.I.P.A. Rosscarbery the same day.

Joey Vage


2nd North section, M Foulis Dundonald, Vel 1334, flying 254 miles, winning £128


Mark Foulis from the Dundonald club is 2nd North section and this combined with 15th Open Skibbereen Old Bird National wins him the Charles Hunniford Memorial Trophy for best average in the North section from the Skibbereen Old Bird and Skibbereen Young Bird Nationals. The bird timed here is a blue cock that was sent to the race driving his hen to the nest. It is from Mark’s own Janssen based family. While it is from Mark’s own family of Janssens, it was actually bred by Mark’s good friend and club mate Len McKinstry. Mark and Len frequently exchange pigeons. The sire is a yearling cock from the racing loft. The grandsire was a magnificent racer having won the East Down Combine’s Young Bird of the Year in 2009, when it was 6th Open Clonmel, 6th Open Pilmore Beach and 5th Open Skibbereen Young Bird Derby three weeks in a row. Mark had a good race here with three birds in the North section and Open result with the next two taking 35th and 56th North section.

Mark Foulis


3rd North section, Open D McShane & Son Lagan Valley, Vel 1333, flying 243 miles, winning £576


3rd North section goes to D McShane & Son of the Lagan Valley club and what a super young bird season this loft has had. Nowadays it’s just Frankie racing here but maintaining the original partnership name. He was 1st club Navan, 1st club, 1st Open Ulster Fed from Mallow, 1st club, 9th Open Ulster Fed Skibbereen Derby. He was also 3rd in the NIPA Skibbereen. The pigeon timed here was a cock that was chasing his hen to the nest and was very keen. The pigeon was bred by Roy Kennedy of Cherryfield Lofts. It is out of a Borgman cock from Cosworth Stud, when paired to a hen from a direct a pair of Marcel Sangers’ Janssens.  Frankie had given the birds a couple of tosses in the week before the race and this young cock was the first bird to the loft on both occasions. He was in Skibbereen the week before when he was Frankie’s second bird home.


4th North section, P McGarrity Glenavy, Vel 1327, flying 247 miles, winning £187


We move to Glenavy, to the loft of Paddy McGarrity for the 4th North section pigeon. Again this loft has shown a lot of good form this season. Paddy had one hen that was 3rd, 8th and 97th Open NIPA and was just beaten for the young bird of the year by Gregg Bros & McCandless. Another two hens were 1st and 2nd club, 1st and 2nd sect D, and 2nd and 5th Open NIPA in the Fermoy 5-bird. The pigeon timed here is from a Van De Rhee crossed with a Soontjens x Lambrect. Another hen, this youngster was sent to this race sitting on a three-day-old young one. The sister of this bird was 2nd sect D, 17th Open NIPA with 20,077 birds competing. Paddy started the year with 29 young birds on the dark and lost six of them, five racing and one to the sparrowhawk at home. He had six young birds that went to the old bird loft and paired there and these were the young birds that won all the leading positions for him.

Paddy McGarrity

5th North section, Kemp & McBride Kingswood Vel 1324, flying 252 miles, winning £89


The partnership of Kemp & McBride of the Kingswood club are 5th North section and had a very good race here clocking six, with three more in the result at 24th, 42nd and 79th section, 133rd and 165th open. The pigeon at 5th North section is a blue cock from Geoffrey Douglas’ number one pair of Peter Fox pigeons. The partnership made up of Bob Kemp and Raymond McBride has won the last four races at club level and the team was in top form. Unfortunately Bob lost 3 toes in May and has been in a wheelchair since so hopefully this result along with the previous 4 club wins will give him a bit of a lift.

Bob Kemp


6th North section, A Cousins & Son Ballylesson, Vel 1297, flying 248 miles, winning £48


At 6th North section are the Ballylesson lofts of A. Cousins and Sons and what a great record this loft has. The last few young bird races from September 1st has seen them hit a real purple patch starting with the East Down Combine Talbenny YB Derby when they finished 3rd Open, this one being flown on September 1st. Then on the 10th of September they won 1st Open in the 2nd East Down Combine Derby from Skibbereen when their winning bird recorded a velocity of 2299.3ypm. The winner was a blue cock, a Soontjen from birds bought from Brian Clayburn. This cock’s sire had already won a 1st and 2nd Open in the East Down Combine and his Grandsire had bred 3 x 1st open winners and a 2nd Open plus birds to take other open places. Then to finish off the season the partnership recorded this 6th North section with the INFC from Skibbereen with another blue Soontjen cock of the King William lines bought from Brian Clayburn and this cock was sent just looking at his hen. The loft recorded several more birds in this race in the prizes including 2 more in the top twenty in the North Section at 12th and 20th section.

Albert Cousins


7th North section, Doonan & McGuiness Dromore Vel 1296, flying 236 miles, winning £213


7th North Section is one of the top sprint to middle distance lofts in the country, that of Doonan and McGuiness of Dromore. The team had a good race also finishing 37th and 70th North Section. This loft has a long list of top performances including the Yearling National with the I.N.F.C. and had won the Open in the NIPA from Tullamore 3 weeks previously. Their first bird is blue cheq cock and the breeding is Heremans-Ceusters, the sire being  ‘Fame and Glory’, a grandson of Jackpot and the dam ‘Turbo Lady’, winner of 1st Open Tullamore NIPA. Raced on darkness, their timer was having his 5th race and had a couple of twenty-mile tosses per week. This has been tremendous racing for the partnership that were only racing 18 young birds this year. The cock was sent just calling a hen to his bowl.

Doonan & McGuiness' 7th section winner


8th North section, McKinstry Bros Dromara, Vel 1281.5, flying 226 miles, winning £115


8th North Section is another of the top sprint lofts in the country, that of McKinstry Bros. Albert and Stanley live in Rathfriland but race in Dromara H.P.S. This loft has a string of top performances including 8th North Section Skibbereen Old Bird I.N.F.C, Fermoy 5-Bird with the N.I.P.A., and they also won two Opens with the N.I.P.A. last year. The bird timed is a blue cheq cock raced on darkness, sent feeding a 21-day-old young bird and just starting to notice his hen again. He had most of the programme except the first two races and was 2nd Open from Tullamore with the N.I.P.A. 3 weeks previously. The sire is their own Soonjten/Braspenning, while the dam came from Ian Gibb and is of Kees Bosua breeding.

Mr McKinstry


9th North section, G & S McMullan Corcreeney, Vel 1281.4; flying 233 miles, winning £115


9th North section is the Corcreeney partnership of Geoffrey and Stan McMullan. Stan is Geoffrey’s father and their pigeons are mainly from Eddie Murray, Donacloney. The sire is a Van Den Bosche x Busschaert and is a bronze diploma winner with the NIPA having been 8th Open St Malo and 26th Open Portland. The dam is a Janssen Van Den Bosche and has won 4 x1st from Penzance with her best result being 30th Open. She has also been timed in the King’s Cup. The grandsire was 2nd Open INFC Young Bird National from Penzance winning £1700 and is also grandsire of their pigeon that was 2nd Open St Malo National beaten by only two yards by Glen Buckley. The young cock timed here was raced right through until two weeks before the National and was then tossed from Clougherhead. Geoffrey likes to take the birds to Clougherhead every Sunday morning but went on the Saturday morning before the birds were basketed and this cock beat the rest of the birds home that day so was showing form at this stage. This young cock was paired and was sitting high on 5 nest bowls beside the feeder. Geoffrey and Stan had a great end to the season. They sent 5 to Talbenny, timing 4 to take 1st, 2nd, 4th and 6th club, 5th and 7th section D and 61st and 79th Open.


10th North section, McCartan & Woodsides Crossgar, Vel 1280, flying 243 miles, winning £162.


At 10th North section are the Crossgar partnership of Paul McCartan, and Liam and Darren Woodside who enjoyed yet another good race timing a black cock racing Roundabout. A darkened youngster the sire of this bird is a Soontjen through Colin Gibson and the dam is a Gust Jansen from Kevin Rooney and Son of Annalong. This partnership was 3rd and 4th North section from the Old Bird National from Skibbereen. This black cock was the partnership’s first bird from the East Down Combine’s 2nd Skibbereen Young Bird Derby when it finished 3rd club and it is also closely related to the partnership’s pigeon which has 3 section wins in the Combine to its credit.

McCartan & Woodsides


Brendan McLoughlin

INFC Press Officer