'Devastated' Dubliner appeals for return of beloved parrot 'Corky'


Paddy Gaffney

thumbnail: Corky
thumbnail: Paddy Gaffney
Paul Healy

A Dublin woman is appealing for the safe return of her father's lost parrot.

Pauline Gaffney (42), from Clonsilla, said her 76-year-old father Paddy is "devastated" that his pet parrot, Corky, escaped from his home last week.

The seven-year-old parrot managed to escape his cage when Mr Gaffney's grandson (7) accidentally left the cage door open.

The family are offering a €500 reward for the "safe return" of the African Grey Parrot.

"My father just loves the bird," Ms Gaffney said.

"He is so devastated, he put so much work and time into that bird, and he is his friend, his companion.

"This bird is more than a pet to him and it's heart-breaking to watch his suffering," she said.

Ms Gaffney suspects the parrot is in the home of a nearby resident.

Gaffney believes either someone deliberately took the bird or Corky flew in to the home of an elderly person - who may be unaware the family are searching for the bird.

Corky, who was born with a hole in his chest, was rescued at the age of one by Mr Gaffney.

"He had a hole in his chest and the vet said it would be better to put him down, but my father gave him a chance," she said.

Mr Gaffney raised the bird to learn over one hundred phrases of the English language.

"He can say some words that you probably can't print," Ms Gaffney said.

The parrot's favourite pastime was playing tricks on the family dog, Alfie, confusing the dog by telling it to "shut up".

"Usually when he is around strangers he doesn't tend to speak because of the unfamiliar surroundings but when he does talk, he doesn't stop."

Some of Corky's favourite phrases include "What you looking at?" and "How's it going Corky?"

The parrot is also known to ask for cheese on occasion.

Ms Gaffney lives beside her father in Hartstown, Clonsilla, and said that the parrot "is everything to him".

She and other neighbours spent the past week looking for the bird tirelessly. The family has set up a Facebook page in an effort to find him.


"I even took two days off work and drove around and walked around the area with my husband looking for him," she said.

"I'd say we have walked about 100km looking for him at this stage."

Ms Gaffney, a bird owner herself, says that when birds escape "you always get them back", leading her to believe someone must have the parrot.