A Leitrim farmer talks about his love of taxidermy, the practice of stuffing and mounting animals.

The progression from farming to taxidermy was a natural one for Michael Casey from Cloone in County Letrim. He enjoys shooting and as he could not find anybody to stuff his hunting trophies, he decided to develop the necessary skills himself.

The taxidermy process takes about six hours from start to finish but, this is done in stages rather than at the one stretch. Some animals need more work than others, and Michael cites the example of a fox being more complicated to stuff than a bird.

Clients come from all parts of Ireland and Michael Casey is now getting work from abroad. Much to the dismay of the local postman, nearly all of Michael’s trade is carried out by post. Michael recently stuffed a South American monkey killed by a German man. This monkey will not be posted and will be collected by the client who will personally bring it back to Germany.

Michael does not enjoy stuffing household pets because by the time he has finished stuffing cats, dogs or budgies, the owner has replace the deceased pet with a new one.

Therefore their love is switched onto something else and I’m left with a house of budgies and cats and dogs.

Fish are difficult to stuff, trout in particular. Although he has stuffed all kinds of fish,

There is one that I’m expecting of course, the one that got away.

This episode of ‘Halls Pictorial Weekly’ was broadcast on 2 December 1972. The reporter is Frank Hall.

Frank Hall’s amusing and satirical series began on 29 September 1971 with the full title ‘Hall’s Pictorial Weekly Incorporating the Provincial Vindicator’ which became known as ‘Hall’s Pictorial Weekly’.
The series allowed Frank Hall to follow his own interest in the lives of viewers throughout the country.  Regarded as RTÉ’s flagship comedy show, it featured satirical sketches on current news stories and popular culture, as well as parody songs, comedy sketches, re-edited videos, cartoons and spoof television formats.
The show ran for nine series until 1980.