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Homers Odyssey - 16/01/23


Homers Odyssey 16/01/23

Northern Ireland Channel Federation Breeder/Buyer 2023. Some 88 birds already committed for 2023 Event. Closing Date for entries 1st February 2023.  Entries from ANY loft welcomed, already entries confirmed from lofts within NIPA, EDC, UF & ISRF.  YB’s must be flown in the NIPA YB National to compete For Prize Money. Ring Numbers to be submitted before 1st March.  The Online Sale due to start 5th March.  YBs to be with purchasers by 3rd April.  2022 Season Pay Out was 6 prizes with £2450 Paid.  The 2023 event has 6 Prize, a total £2,600 Pay Out envisaged with more prizes promised with additional entries.  Book your place now before they are all gone. More details please Tel: Gary 07955 044846.

Obituary Ron McKelvey (Newy) - It is with great sadness this afternoon that we have learned of the sad passing of our great friend and one of life’s true gentlemen Mr Ron McKelvey. Ron first came to Newry 20+ years ago and raced in Newry & District H.P.S. Ron took Newry by storm coming with a big reputation of being an out and out champion of the UK and Racing in Greater Harrow Pigeon Club in London. When first being introduced to the Club he was interested in taking on the role of being Club Secretary/Treasurer/ETS Secretary. Some members not aware of his vast knowledge and intelligence Ron submitted a 4 Page CV to the Club. The Members response upon reading his impressive CV at a meeting was "This man could run the Country never mind a Pigeon Club. Everyone who knew Ron knows the hard work and outmost care he put in for the Club and every single pigeon fancier in need of assistance or simple advice. His kindness shined from person to person and even more so into his family of pigeons he held so dear. Ron was a Connoisseur of Pigeons and cultivated one of the finest Braspenning Families in the UK and Ireland and it was always a pleasure to handle them on a Friday night through the ringer. Many winners was timed into his lofts over the years into Newry but he got an even better kick out of seeing someone else Win or do well in the Sport being the first to Congratulate everyone every race no matter what the outcome. Myself personally I’ll never forget as a 11 year in the Club being shy and wanting to help out in anyway I could, Ron took me under his wing and passed on his knowledge of ETS Rings, Computer Work with Results and Velocities and helped my confidence to help him and do out Results myself even if I did mess up it was never a problem. On behalf of Newry & District H.P.S and the wider Pigeon Fraternity in the Newry & Mourne Area and across the UK and Ireland we would like to pass on our sincere condolences to the McKelvey Family on the sad passing of Ron. All of our thoughts and prayers go out to the entire family circle at this difficult time. Our members are forever grateful for his hard work he put into our Club and the Sport. I will miss seeing Ron’s smile with a cheeky pat on the cheek 'You’re a Wee Star' - May he Rest In Peace. Jordan Hughes PO.

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The late Ron McKelvey from Newry, see text for sale dates.

Wesley Sawyers will conduct the Entire Clearance Sale for Ron McKelvey of Newry, 2 Parts both in Glenavy on Saturday 28th January and another date to be confirmed birds on view from 1.00pm with sale at 3.00pm. All proceeds to Macmillan Nursing in Newry. Bloodlines responsible for 5 x 1st Open NIPA and 2 x 1st National and also RPRA Awards won in London and Northern Ireland. to Macmillan Nursing in Newry. Full details on website ... oss-h-p-s/

Obituary Allen McBride (Harryville) – In the last week the local fancy lost another big star with the passing of Allen McBride who had health problems over recent months and died peacefully surrounded by his loving family at the Macmillan Unit at Antrim. He lived in Lettercreeve just off the main Antrim Road and lived near the Harryville HPS where he raced with great success over many years. Most seasons he scored at the very highest level up to 1st Section in Section B and many times 1st in the Mid Antrim Combine where he was a dedicated member. He raced the Soontjen family of birds mostly obtained from his brother Colin who when re raced was almost unbeatable in Harryville, and was top prize-winner many times. Allen served for several years as Hon Treasurer and was ever present at the annual presentation of the Harryville HPS. He was a Taxi Driver and was well known locally. I remember in the early days the young McBride Bros racing in the old Ballymena Championship, when it closed, they both raced in Harryville, I attended both lofts many times to photograph winners. Following a private Family Service in his home a graveside Service was held in Ballee Cemetery on Friday the 6th January at 2.00pm (were all are welcome to attend). Family Home Private. Family Flowers Only Please, Donations may be sent if desired to the Macmillan Unit Antrim (Cheques made payable to NHSCT Charitable Trust Fund) c/o James Stevenson & Son, 30 Cushendall Road, BT43 6HD. Allen who was a real gentleman will be very sadly missed on the local scene condolences to wife Lorna and the entire family circle at this sad time. Homer.

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The late Allen McBride of the Harryville HPS in Ballymena holding one of his many winners

East Down Combine AGM - With the start of a New Year the first event on the EDC 2023 Calendar is the AGM which  was held on Saturday 14th January in the War Memorial Hall Crossgar and by now all members should have received the Agenda for the meeting, so it is hoped for a good turnout of members. Included on the Agenda as always is the election of officers for the season and this is the time to inform everyone that this is my last article as a PRO for after many years the time has come for me to retire from writing and spend, if possible, a little more time with my own birds .To all those have helped with news, photos etc. over many years a huge thank you for without you all it would not have been possible to keep this column going. I close by wishing everyone a very Happy and Healthy 2023 and enjoy your pigeons. Clifford Browne PO. Should you wish to contact me, I can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Ballymena Open Show on New Year’s Eve – Alwyn Neill took BIS

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Alwyn Neill from Lurgan had BIS, Best Young Bird and Most Points at the Ballymena Open Show,

The annual open show for Ballymena & District usually held on New Year’s Day was held this time on Saturday 31st some 200 birds penned for judges Timmy Mawhinney and Mark Jonty. Many thanks to all that supported the event either with birds or prizes, and thanks as well to Darren Swann who did excellent work setting up the Open Show and running the weekly show series as well each Monday. Alwyn Neill from Lurgan won all three Young Bird Classes, plus Best Young Bird and Most Points in Show.

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Winner of all three young bird classes at Ballymena Open Show Alwyn Neill with the winners.

D & R Turkington from Doagh & District won the Old Bird Handles and Through Wires classes and Brian Herbison from Cullybackey was the Red Card winner in the Old Bird Eye-sign. Colour awards old birds. Best Blue B Herbison, Best Cheq/Dk Ch D & R Turkington, Best any Pied D & R Turkington, Best AOC (Grizzle) D Swann (Ballymena). Colour awards young birds. Best Blue R & S Swann (Ballymena) , Best Cheq/Dk Ch A Neill, Best any Pied A Neill, Best AOC (Mealy) D & G McMullan (Ballymoney).

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D & R Turkington from Doagh & District won BOS, with judges Timmy Mawhinney and Mark Jonty.

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Brian Herbison from Cullybackey won the Old Bird Eye-sign at Ballymena & District HPS Open Show.

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Dessie and Robert Turkington from Doagh, winner of Best Opposite Sex at the Ballymena Open Show.

Results: Old Birds Handled – 1st, 3rd, 4th and Reserve D & R Turkington, 2nd & Commended V Montgomery, VHC A Neill, HC B Herbison. Old Birds T/W – 1st, 2nd, VHC & Commended D & R Turkington, 3rd & 4th V Montgomery, Reserve D Swann, HC B Herbison. Old Bird Eye-sign – 1st, 2nd, VHC, HC & Commended B Herbison, 3rd & Reserve A Neill, 4th D & G McMullan. Young Bird Handled – 1st & Reserve A Neill, 2nd, 4th, VHC & Commended R & S Swann, 3rd & HC D & R Turkington. Young Bird T/W – 1st & 4th A Neill, 2nd & Reserve V Montgomery, 3rd & Commended D & G McMullan, VHC & HC R & S Swann. Young Bird Eye-sign – 1st & HC A Neill, 2nd & 3rd D & G McMullan, 4th V Montgomery, Reserve, VHC & Commended R & S Swann.

Kells and District HPS Open Show was held Tuesday 27th December, the reserve date over many years had been Boxing Day but still good to see the event return.  What a fantastic turnout and a great day was had with a massive 263 birds penned. A massive thank you must go to Frazer Feeds for their continuous support to the club and for setting up the prizes for all 6 classes.Everything was greatly appreciated. Another huge thank you must go to Home Farm Bird Supplies and Natural Ballymena for sponsoring the club with vouchers. Big thank you to Change for Life Gym in Kells for also sponsoring the show and thanks as well to club members that generously donated for the show and for their support at the event. Thank you must go to the judges who came up to judge the show for us from Belfast. The judges from the East Down Combine clubs Dundonald HPS and Belmont had a great day out in Kells, -thanks for all the hospitality, much appreciated.

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Judges at Kells - A. Shanks, J. Auld, J. Galbraith, R. Conlane and G. McCartney.

The results are as follows, a clean sweep for visiting lofts: Best in Show – R & S Swann (Ballymena & District), Best Opposite Sex – Fred Simpson (Doagh & District), Most Points – R & S Swann (Natural Ballymena Voucher), Runner up Most Points – Alwyn Neill (Home Farm voucher), Best Young Bird – R & S Swann (Home Farm Voucher).

Old Birds Through wires Judge - J.Auld: 1- W.Gilbert, 2- A.Neill, 3- D & R Turkington, 4- D & R Turkington, Res - W.Gilbert, V.H.C - W.Gilbert, H.C – D & R Turkington, C – D & R Turkington. Old Birds Handled - Judge - J.Galbraith: 1- A.Neill, 2- D.Swann, 3- A.Neill, 4- D & R Turkington, Res – D &R Turkington, V.H.C - V. Montgomery, H.C - V. Montgomery, C – D & R Turkington. Old Bird Eyesign - Judge - A.Shanks: 1- F.Simpson, 2- J & J Greer, 3-A.Barkley&Son, 4- W.Gilbert, Res - V.Montgomery, V.H.C - A.Neill, H.C A.Barkley&Son, C – J & J Greer.  Young Birds Through Wires - Judge - R. Conlane & G. McCartney: 1- R & S Swann, 2- A.Neill, 3- R & S Swann, 4- R & S Swann, Res- K.Wright , V.H.C - S.McIlveen, H.C – R & S Swann, C - M.Neilly. Young Birds Handled - Judges - R.Conlane & G.McCartney: 1- R & S Swann, 2- R & S Swann, 3- D & R Turkington, 4- A. Barkley&Son, Res- R & S Swann, V.H.C – R & S Swann, H.C - K.Wright, C - A.Neill. Young Bird Eyesign - Judges - R.Conlane & G.McCartney: 1- A.Neill, 2- W.Gilbert, 3- J & J Greer, 4-A.Neill, Res - R&S Swann, V.H.C – R & S Swann, H.C – J & J Greer, C - A.Barkley&Son.

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Alan Shanks (l) presenting A. Neil from Lurgan for runner up Most Points.

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Fred Simpson from Doagh & District (l) Best Opposite Sex Winner at Kells.

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Willie Gilbert (r) from Ballymena the Red Card winner in Old Birds Through wires.

A big well done to R & S Swann (Ballymena & District) for taking BIS, BYB and Most Points. Huge well done to everyone who carded.

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Darren Swann (r) collects Best in Show at Kells for R & S Swann of Ballymena.

The cups for weekly shows were also presented to A. Barkley & Son for winning Most Points overall and taking the Kells Club trophy- and J & J Greer (Cullybackey) winning the Visitors Trophy for most points in the show series. We would also like to thank non-members who donated towards prizes for the Open Show and a very big thank you has to go to Harryville and Cullybackey Clubs for lending the show pens. Thank you again to everyone who supported the club. Thank you to everyone who came every week to support the club and to everyone who travelled to the open show and made it such a success.  Thank you to everyone who helped out throughout the shows, everyone's support has been greatly appreciated. Roll on the racing. Laura Surgenor PO.

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Alan Barkley & Son partnership weekly shows winners at Kells & District HPS.

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Jonathan Barkley (l) presenting club shows visitors J & J Greer for Most Points.

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NIPA acting chairman Pat McLaughlin and his wife from the Maiden City club in Derry cut the cake as part of the NIPA 75th Anniversary celebrations. Photo by Robin Tierney.

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“Groggan Lass” winner of 1st Club, 1st Mid Antrim Combine, 1st Sect B and 1st Open NIPA Bude for Sam Murphy of Kells & District.

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Cheq Pied (h) winner of 1st Club, 3rd Sect A & 21st Open NIPA St Malo OB National 479/2714. 486 Miles, Velocity 1591. Raced by John McConaghie, Ballymoney HPS.

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Dark Cheq (c) winner of 2nd Club, 4th Sect B & 34th Open NIPA St Malo OB National 419/1980. Velocity 595. Raced by W & L McCaw, Ballymoney HPS. 

Willie Reynolds – NIPA & INFC Press Officer

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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