Wednesday 21 March 2018

Lough Talt Clay pigeon shoot returns for the first time in 20 years

The Lough Talt Clay Pigeon Shoot made a return over the weekend for the first time in 20 years.

This is the oldest shoot West of the Shannon, and was first held in 1953 when parish priest Fr Peter Harte from Tourlestrane organised it to raise funds for the parish.

The Lough Talt Cup was presented by Michael J O'Hara, Solicitor, Foxford.

The shoot stopped for a few years and returned in 1974 until 1997 when the site that was used for the event was designated a special area of conservation by the National Parks and Wildlife Service.

Following the passing of Michael Rochford of Lough Talt, a treasured friend, the group got together to see if they could revive the event in his honour.

Michael died suddenly just 12 months ago and was an avid shooting and game conservation enthusiast.

The event was organised by the Tubbercurry and District Gun Club.

As well as the main competition for the Lough Talt Perpetual Challenge Cup, there was also a new competition, The Rochford Memorial Cup in memory of Michael Rochford - both of those were won by Martin Griffin who is a member of the Tubbercurry and District Gun Club.

Various winners of the Lough Talt Cup include Paddy McCarrick, John Conlon, Ian Clarke and other great shooting men who have now passed to their eternal reward.

Thanks to the kindness of landowner Michael Carney, the event took place on the scenic Ox Mountains.

The event could not have taken place without the hard work of Eamon Durkin, Michael Conway, Derek Deehan, Robert Lundy, Michael Egan, Seamus Brett, Colm Gallagher, Jimmy Coleman and Liam Lundy.

It is now hoped that the pigeon shoot can return to being an annual event after a highly successful day out.

Proceeds of the shoot will go to the Lough Talt hillwalkers, a group that was close to the heart of Michael Rochford.

"It was a great day out on the Ox Mountains and it was great to see some very talented young sportsmen coming along, while we all got to meet up once again," Robert Lundy told The Sligo Champion.

Sligo Champion