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Mooney show to ruffle a few feathers in row over D4 pigeon 'stud farm'

RTE's Derek Mooney has today found himself at the centre of a row between pigeon fanciers and D4 residents.

The Herald has learned that Dublin City Council is currently considering plans for a two-storey pigeon 'breeding loft' in the most sought after address in the capital.

The owner already keeps a number of pigeons in the garden of his property on Ailesbury Road, which had led to tensions with neighbours.

If he gets the go-ahead for a pigeon coop, he is planning to house 500 birds on the property. In a bid to get to the bottom of the row, presenter Derek Mooney visited Ailesbury Road yesterday to hear the concerns of residents for a segment on today's Mooney Goes Wild show.

The wildlife presenter said he first become aware of extra pigeon numbers in Ailesbury Road from a local barman.

"It was a guy called John Gallagher in Kiely's pub in Donnybrook," he explained. "He actually feeds the pigeons and noticed lately they were getting very particular over their food, preferring brown to white bread, that sort of thing.

"He found one of the birds tame enough to handle and noticed it had 'D4 Ailesbury' written on a band around its foot," Derek added.


However it was RTE reporter Fergal Keane, also contributing to the Mooney programme today, who alerted his colleague to the pigeons' owner, a wealthy builder keeping a number of birds in the garden of his home on Ailesbury Road.

Contacted by the Mooney show, the resident has so far refused to comment but has given permission for architect Dermot Bannon to speak about the proposed pigeon loft on RTE's Mooney Show today at 3pm.

Bannon, who presents RTE programme Room To Move, designed the two-storey red brick development, to fit in with the surroundings of the exclusive enclave and that the structure will be, if given the go ahead, Ireland's first bespoke air-conditioned pigeon breeding loft.

"It might sound extravagant but you have to remember this is where thoroughbred pigeons, worth thousands of euro, will breed. It's basically a stud farm for pigeons and I don't see anything wrong with it being in Ailesbury Road, or anywhere else," said Mooney.

But the plans for the 'breeding loft' are expected to face stiff opposition from local residents who will voice their concerns on the show this afternoon.