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Homers Odyssey - 15-12-20

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Homers Odyssey

Amy's Christmas Wish -

12 year-old Amy requires life changing surgery on her spine to correct severe Scoliosis. Amy has already beat a diagnosis of double congenital lung cysts, requiring removal of part of both lungs, now she faces an operation to correct severe Scoliosis on her spine at a cost of £40k for private treatment.


Amy Simpson and family with Eddie McGettigan (l) and Gary Donaldson.

Today we handed over the cheque to young Amy Simpson with the proceeds of our Young Bird Auction. A staggering £11,350 was handed over to Amy and her family.

Can I say from Myself and Eddie, plus Amy & her family, we want to personally thank every single fancier for supporting our YB Sale with birds, purchases, donations, and well wishes.

Amy flies out on Tuesday to have her surgery and we are delighted that with the support from The Pigeon Fraternity - Amy Will Get Her Christmas Wish. Gary & Eddie.

Amy was visited by a few pigeons (and their minders!) earlier today.

When Eddie McGettigan contacted us just a few weeks ago and said he wanted to organise a Pigeon Auction for Amy's Christmas Wish, we had no idea that it would generate such a huge sum of money!!! When we got word of this total earlier in the week we knew we had reached the total that we had targeted and it came as such a relief to Amy's family.

A huge thanks to Eddie McGettigan (Strabane) and Gary Donaldson (Portadown) for making this happen, also a huge thanks to all the breeders who donated birds to the auction and to all you guys who bid on the birds. You have been absolutely- amazing, and you've made sure that Amy gets the operation she desperately needs. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Amy's Christmas Wish.

Club Season reports –

The report by PO Mervyn Eagleson on the young bird season concludes the 2020 club feature on behalf of Ballymena & District and a few photos have been added from my archive. Mervyn is giving me a hand with research and performance data and we will feature in turn every single club in the local area, clubs just need to supply a season report and a list of all the cup and trophy winners plus any relevant photos and I hopefully should be able to add some archive material. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to fill out space in this column over the next number of weeks leading up to hopefully some sort of racing next April.


J Eagleson & Sons ace racers in both Harryville and Ballymena and former Nat winners in both NIPA and INFC. Highest Prize-winners in Ballymena & Dist 2020


Billy & Joe Smyth from a few years back and still winning in Ballymena & District.


R H Clements raced with major success in both Harryville and Ballymena, former Nat winner in the INFC.


From a few years back, prize presentation for Ballymena & District.


Derry City group -There's a 20/25 year trip down memory lane with the pigeons, some top class local fanciers. Left to right the late Joe Kelly, life Vice President of NIPA, Noel Murray, Leo Flanagan, Joe O’Kane, a very young Micheel Rabbett, Jim Moore, Kiiaran Quigley, Damien Dunne, Tony Rodgers, Jim McMonagle and finally Mickey Rabbett senior. 

Gold Ring Season 2021 -

Drumavaddy Inv HPS Gold Ring race -  I have the Gold Rings hear now £10 per ring  if interested you can PayPal me the payment for them and as soon I receive it I can posted them out to you are can meet you with them and get payment that way. Race is going to be NIPA Talbenny YB National. I just intend to pm people to see if interested in any rings and if are how many so can get started sorting them out for people. You can pay after Xmas trying to just get numbers how many everyone wants if interested. Those interested can send me the racing name, loft number, address etc so I can put in on computer. Thanks David West PO.

Markethill HPS 2021 Gold Rings are now available for anyone that wants them. The Annual Gold Ring race for 2021 will take place from the NIPA YB National Talbenny, they date to be confirmed. 50% of the money from this event will be given to the SOS Fund and 50% as prize money, after club costs. This year there will also be bags of corn kindly sponsored by H Beattie And Son of Tandragee. Hampering through your own Centre and to be liberated with the NIPA. £10 per Ring, the Rings are now available from any member of Markethill HPS

Lurgan Social HPS Gold Ring race will be Skibbereen YB National INFC. Rings are ordered and available for pre booking at £10 each, max 10 per loft number. Our target is to get 2000 prize money based on sales. Pre book through any member and rings will be sold directly from myself, Kevin Henderson, Rodney Adamson or Martin Douglas.  Open to any flying member in the INFC north section. PM, WhatsApp, call me direct to book. Eamon Wright.

Lurgan Social fundraiser Gold Ring race 2021 -

  • Gold rings are available at £10 per ring.
  • Max 10 rings per loft number.
  • £2000 prizemoney based on the completed sale of all 270 rings.
  • If initial allocation of rings are not sold 75% of all ring sales will be paid out and prize money adjusted accordingly and made public.
  • If more than allocated rings are sold prizemoney will also be adjusted and increased accordingly.
  • Race to be flown from INFC Skibbereen Young Bird National.
  • Entry is open to all members eligible to compete in the INFC North section Skibbereen YB national race.
  • Based on all 270 rings being sold prize money will be as follows:
  • 1st £750, 2nd £500, 3rd £300, 4th £200, 5th £100, 6th £50, 7th £50, 8th £50.

On the day of the race there will be a £5 single bird Gold Ring nomination, 1 prize - winner takes all. Nominations and payments must be in on the day of basketing, no nominations or payments will be accepted after 9.00pm on that day.

Rings must be registered to competitor as per RPRA rules. They must be registered minimum 14 days prior to basketing.

On race day – A signed copy of the basket list and a signed copy of the clocking sheet must be sent to Eamon Wright, 76 Malcolmson Park Magheralin BT 67 0RD or alternative WhatsApp, Messenger or email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for verification. Distance must also be on the clocking sheet.

Full result will be published within 3 days of close of race.

Rings are directly available from Eamon Wright Tel: 07739 823898, Kevin Henderson Tel: 028 3832 7274, Rodney Adamson Tel: 07764 277446 and Martin Douglas Tel: 07842 652592 or can be pre ordered through any other member of Lurgan Social HPS who will collect the rings on your behalf.

It is advised to pre book your rings. Ring sales will stop on the day of the first NIPA old bird race in 2021.

Downshire Lofts Charity event –

Is been run by Eddie McAlinden & sons, kit off 10 YBS £250, if need more details ring Eddie number on poster. All the proceeds to the Newry Hospice.

Eddies family of birds include the very best of Mal Maguire Newry, Cormac O’Hare Ballyholland, Aiden McAteer Ballyholland, Mark Ewbanks BANBRIDGE, d Black Dromara and McKinstry Bros Rathfriland. These are top class loft of cross channel birds. Eddie said “They are just in the wrong hands”. For more info Tel: 07771 813198.

A great year in sport for wee Jay and Jason Whitten achieving Champion Old Bird Section E and the Bronze Award for flying France in two years!


Young Jay Whitten from Portadown & Drumcree holding the Bronze Diploma winner


“Jay” ace racer and Bronze Diploma winner for J Whitten & Son.

NIPA BRONZE AWARD WINNER 2020 ‘Blue Jay’ Hereman Ceuster

Jason writes It was an honour this year to achieve the Bronze Award with this super hen from France (St Malo).

She was timed in a very tough race in 2019 with only approx.. 70 pigeon’s home in 3 days flying 448 miles into a strong North West wind. Again we sent her this year (2020) and timed her to claim the award. Over the past two consecutive years in the NIPA there was only 3 pigeons to achieve this fantastic honour.

This hen has won 3 x 1st clubs all on the channel and also the following NIPA Open & Section positions:

60th Open & 19th Section E Talbenny YB National 3,600 birds (Velocity 1308), 

35th Open & 19th Section E Talbenny 10,200 birds (Velocity 1272),

19th Open & 9th Section E Talbenny 14,300 birds (Velocity 1349), 

255th Open & 108th Section E Bude 8,700 birds (Velocity 1008),

64th Open & 11th Section E ST Malo 1,351 birds (Velocity 482) and

101st Open & 58th Section E St Malo, 2,714 birds (Velocity 1504).

Young Jay has really taken a keen interest in this wee hen and fingers crossed he can achieve his goal of the Silver Diploma award in 2021 racing season.

INFC Annual Meeting

Proposals for the AGM have to be submitted before 31st December as per the rules, the AGM date will be 1st Saturday in March, although there could be changes before that.

NIPA Update

Hi Everyone - please find attached proposals from Wilton Cross HPS I am sure you will have your own views on them personally I believe that they are a severe backward step for this organisation.

You will not be able to arrange collection of pigeons on the channel to catch the earlier sailing and subsequently your birds will have to be fed watered and rested on route and not arriving in Bude or Penzance until probably the early morning of liberation

The nipa will not be able to arrange extra races i.e.. two races on the same day with at least half of your transporters away at another race point, you cannot collect all club`s at their clubrooms with only three or less transporters available. It will mean loss of revenue and put extra expense onto the first race marking for Classic and Championship races with members of another club supervising a race has proved in the past not to be secure.

Deleting a Rule - I will have to read the rule book to see what they wish deleted

For at least half plus 1 of the Committee to be in agreement before a race can be flown if it requires some sort of change will be very challenging and could possibly mean cancellation of a race if these numbers cannot be achieved

Club`s will have to take notice our competing membership is falling dramatically and in a very short period of time they will have to accept massive changes to how we race mark and transport our pigeons.

Trophies and Diplomas should be ready next week for collection, lock down for the last two weeks have held us back

Your three new trophies presented by the RPRA and Irish Region should arrive in about 7/10 day’s-time, costing around £6.000 they will be named after Lyndon Boyle, Sammy Thompson and Robert Reid. These will be perpetual cups raced for in the Old Bird Cross Channel National the Old Bird Inland National and I believe the Young Bird Skibbereen National.

Your books are currently with the auditors I have not as yet had a preliminary meeting with them, it should be soon.

Regarding Newcastle disease in birds and poultry I believe there has been no reported cases in the commercial poultry flock which is very-good news for that industry. DEFRA has confirmed 5 cases in the wild bird population in Northern Ireland and three in the South of Ireland interestingly one in Cork is a peregrine and i read of a sparrow hawk in England

Please pass the message on to all members and club`s please do not give your pigeons freedom at this time keep the locked up and away from the wild bird population

Regarding racing next season, which is only around 20 weeks away, I believe we will still have some restrictions hopefully not a strict as last year and that racing can commence mid-April as usual. All of you keep safe keep to the guidelines have the best Christmas you can. i will be in touch with you all as soon as I receive our accounts for 2020. The Irish Region have confirmed Crossgar as a member of the Region and RPRA and this now means Crossgar is accepted as a member of the NIPA for 2021 Regards Fred.

The correspondence from Wilton Cross was dated 25th November and was signed by A Larkin (Chairman) and G Douglas (Secretary).

After consultation with its members the Wilton Cross HPS would like to propose the following resolutions for the forth coming AGM of the NIPA.

1.    Submit new rule to state: All National races birds to be race marked at Centres with exception of Championship and Classic races where birds can be race marked at clubs with 2 members of another club officiating.

2.    Submit new rule to state: That in event of a race cancellation the decision can only be made by half plus one of the NIPA General Committee.

3.    Submit new rule to state: All club races on the programme, crates to be collected by NIPA transporter at the club’s own premises.

4.    Delete Rule 55 in its entirety. Rule 55 Reads. The Management Committee shall have power to make and alter rules to cover any emergency. In circumstances when this is necessary any such rules will only operate to the next Annual General Meeting where they must be confirmed or deleted.

Northern Ireland Continental Club -

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 want 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,


Rule Books of the old Ulster Continental Flying Club in the 80’s.


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 opportunities 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.

Additional 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 nurture 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.

Anyone 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 where they belong on top.

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

Clearance Sale for Hugh Boyd On-line-

Due to advancing years (81 years young) Hugh has with great reluctance decided to give up his beloved sport. THIS DECISION HAS NOT BEEN TAKEN LIGHTLY . An Entire Clearance (with a slight difference – Hugh is retaining 6 x 2020 youngsters/latebreds to keep him motivated – He Is Very Clear To Point This Out ) - End Of An Era – Without doubt – This Is One Loft With Remarkable Long Distance Performances – 2008 to 2020.  You can get all details regarding the online sale from Willie Reynolds - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

HOMER. Willie Reynolds

Tel/Fax: (028) 256 44683

Mobile: 07538 238364

Twitter: willie reynolds@homerbhw>

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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