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Port Under Difficulties: Pigeon Racing Adventure from Limerick to Cork | Limerick Gazette Archives

Port Under Difficulties: Pigeon Racing Adventure from Limerick to Cork

Despite facing challenging circumstances, an intriguing story unfolded in Limerick involving a mail train from Cork and two determined men carrying carefully covered baskets. The men, arriving in Limerick on Sunday morning at 1:50 o’clock, were unfortunately unable to find lodgings for the night. However, thanks to the assistance of Mr John McNamara, the inspector of the night constables, they were provided with accommodation.

The purpose of their visit became clear—the men were there to initiate a pigeon race from Limerick to Cork. A substantial wager of £50 had been placed, betting that the birds would complete the flight within an impressive hour and a quarter.

The pigeons, eagerly anticipated for their remarkable flying abilities, were released from the square in front of the Dominican Church. With a swift take-off, the birds immediately ascended into the sky and set their course towards Rossbrien, a direction that aligns with the crow’s flight path to Cork.

After ensuring the pigeons were on their way, the two men bid farewell and left Limerick on an excursion train bound for York, presumably to continue their pigeon racing endeavours elsewhere.

This peculiar tale showcases the unique world of pigeon racing, where enthusiasts take part in high-stakes competitions, leveraging the remarkable speed and navigation skills of these trained birds. The outcome of this particular race, and whether the pigeons reached their destination in record time, remains unknown. Nonetheless, it serves as a testament to the excitement and adventurous spirit found within this captivating sport.

Limerick Echo – Tuesday 13 September 1904