Wednesday 22 November 2017

Jacko the crow is lost for words


1972 LAST WEDNESDAY, a recording team from RTE's Hall's Pictorial Weekly came down to Fintan Malone's house at the Ardee Road Dunleer, to interview 'Jacko', the talking crow.

Regular readers will know that 'Jacko' is a grey crow, a rare oneand chatters like words were going out of fashion.

Fintan, for his part, owns and runs a pet-shop business.

Well, Frank Hall, plus pipe, a production assistant, a sound man, a camera man and a producer filled up the yard at the back of Fintan's place just on midday and out came Fintan, bird in hand.

But it might as well have been on a bush for all the talking that it did.

Try as he did, Fintan could extract no verbal from 'Jacko' so we all got chatting about the perils of provincial reporting, staying here, there and everywhere and the price of beer.

Frank recalled the time he finished off a programme with a Mynagh bird, which promptly said 'Get them off ye' into the flushed faces of two million viewers - it was a Dublin bird, of course, reared in Marlborough Street, the heart of the city.

Fintan and Frank recorded the piece anyhow, minus a wordless 'Jacko'.

Children from all over Dunleer seemed to pack into the yard by this time, but 'Jacko' is not a bird for company, it appears.

It was great gas altogether, with a tethered goat idly looking on.

Frank knew Ardee and Collon well and we past a minutes chatting about these areas, hoping that 'Jacko' would brake this avian silence with a cheep, but it was not to be.

It was well after one o'clock and 'Jacko' was speechless, so we returned to Ardee to leave Frank Hall and Co. to carry on without us.

In about a fortnight, the full result of his mission into the unknown areas of avian Dunleer may be seen on the goggle-box.

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