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 Loft Profile 23/06/05 - Liam Hegarty & Son of Derry City
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This partnership has won one of the toughest Bude races in memory into the capital of the north west of Ireland namely Derry City. Each are quiet in personality and are well liked members of the Foyle Racing Pigeon Society. They live in the large Creggan estate which overlooks the historic Bogside and are dedicated pigeon fanciers. Of course when I arrived to do my report like all men Liam senior asked me if I would like a cup of tea but then passed on the task to Mrs Hegarty. And a good cup it was too- thank you, Mrs Hegarty!

This partnership has won one of the toughest Bude races in memory into the capital of the north west of Ireland namely Derry City. Each are quiet in personality and are well liked members of the Foyle Racing Pigeon Society. They live in the large Creggan estate which overlooks the historic Bogside and are dedicated pigeon fanciers. Of course when I arrived to do my report like all men Liam senior asked me if I would like a cup of tea but then passed on the task to Mrs Hegarty. And a good cup it was too- thank you, Mrs Hegarty!

Liam had pigeons all his life, feral as well as racers, although he did not participate in the sport until about 1972/1973 and had his successes especially from Talbenny and Skibereen in partnership with his son Paul. They were away from the sport for a few years after 1998 but returned in recent years. At present they admit that they are only finding themselves again and acknowledge that patience is required in the sport. Thus their present stock are what is known in Derry as 'liquorice all sorts' and they are committed to forming their own family in due course. They are natural flyers although they are experimenting with the darkness system.

The bird which won from Bude (see photo) is a Busschaert and the partners carefully prepared it for its 300 miles plus journey from southern Britain including quite a few miles of water. They feed a mixture and include peanuts stating that the birds would devour the partnership in pursuit of the nuts. In relation to sickness they yearly treat the birds for worms, canker and respiratory trouble. In general they have not much trouble with ailments throughout the year because of this preventative approach.They make use of the deep- litter method but would remove droppings weekly if required.

The partners have no secrets and don't believe that there are any in the sport aside from hard work with good stock for 365 days a year. The secret they suggest is condition and their birds receive a regime of frequent tosses with the fed transporter and their own transport if the former is not available.

The Bude win would be their best performance to date for in reality many outstanding pigeons failed to return throughout the north of Ireland on that day. As for disappointments in the sport Liam stated that there were many especially those pigeons whom they expected to do well in races but failed to perform or never returned.

A reality experienced by the majority of fanciers if not by all. For the novice they would suggest obtaining late breds from a fancier doing well in their own area and building slowly. Like all in this series patience is a wonderful virtue. Liam is also of the opinion that the sport is not dying and especially not in their own city. That it is bigger in Derry than he can ever remember. They are also of the opinion that club or fed support should be given
to the young fancier upon entering the sport like, for example, a clock or a basket due to the present cost of such items.

Liam Hegarty and Son (or should it be sons and nephew for Michael and Paul's son Owen are in the photo) are a committed partnership and deserve as much success as possible in the sport. I have no doubt that this will be forthcoming and to conclude again Mrs Hegarty you can make a good mug of tay. Thank you all for an enjoyable visit and in particular Owen for admitting that he 'squeezed his way' into my camera.




Liam O Comain  -
by: Liam O Comain

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