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01 Dec 2021

Kilkenny’s first falconry school takes flight post lockdown

Kilkenny’s first falconry school takes flight post lockdown

John and Caroline Duggan of Hawkeye Falconry

A couple have realised their dream of running a falconry school and are teaching people how to handle birds of prey.

Located in the grounds of the Lyrath Estate Hawkeye Falconry is run by husband and wife duo - John and Caroline Duggan.

Living with a cancer diagnosis made them both re-evaluate their lives and to invest their time and energy into a project that they are passionate about.

For John, birds have been a lifelong love.

“I have been dabbling around with birds since I was 13. I got a cancer diagnosis back in 2007 and during remission I was flying birds of prey.

“During that time I took the opportunity to reassess how I wanted to live and when the time came to go back to work I came up with the idea of working with birds of prey,” he said.

At the falconry people get a chance to handle and fly birds under the watchful eye of John and Caroline and are given a brief on the 5000-year old history of the ancient art of falconry.

John explained that at the school people will be taught how to recall the hawk from the treetops and send them back to the trees again.

“People get the chance to handle these magnificent creatures, letting them fly from your gloved hand and returning to feed. It is a profound experience to interact so closely with a hunting animal. I feel really privileged to be able to share my passion with people and give them an insight into these beautiful creatures.”

For more see www.hawkeyefalconry.ie

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