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Consuming Passions
Consuming Passions RTÉ One, Monday 8.30pm (Repeat)

Programme 2: Pigeon Heads

Wednesday, 11th July 2007

Pigeon Heads is an entertaining and insightful half-hour documentary about the obsessive and affectionate relationship, which some Dublin people have with racing pigeons.

Every weekend from April through to September thousands of athletic pigeons are transported to different corners of Ireland where they are 'liberated' and race through the Irish skyline heading back towards Dublin. Meanwhile in the city hundreds of owners wait in agony for their feathered friends to return hopefully in one piece and ahead of the rest.

We spend time with Anto O'Toole & his 11-year-old loft manger Shane Murray from the inner city as they prepare for their first race of the season. Their distinctive pigeon loft can only be accessed by a ladder and might appear rough around the edges but inside it becomes clear that a lot of love, training and attention has gone into their birds in preparation for this big race. On race day the tension is palpable as they wait, and wait, and wait for their birds to return.

We also meet with Henry Byrne from Ringsend whose two storey sophisticated loft dominates his backyard. We watch as he bathes and showers his pigeons and get a glimpse into his special feed. We also meet the charming husband and wife Patsy and Pat Fagan from Dalkey, both in their 60's, their affection for these birds is wonderful to experience.

This is a revealing, affectionate and colourful look at people whose lives are dominated by Pigeons.

 

Anto O' Toole
Anto O' Toole
Patsy Fagan
Patsy Fagan
Shane Murray
Shane Murray