Famed 'birdman' of Cork told to fly away due to pigeon-related mayhem
"The pigeons were there before these people ever came along on this planet."
Frank Flaherty, a familiar figure in Cork city centre thanks to his four-year commitment to feeding local pigeons, has been ordered by local authorities to find a new stomping ground.
Known locally as 'The Birdman of Daunt Square', wildlife-loving Flaherty has made it his mission in life to supply the birds of the area with sustenance on a daily basis.
Alas, a complaint from a nearby shopkeeper in relation to the resulting build-up of feathers and excrement has led Flaherty to consider his options, though he is denying the severity of the charges.
"The Cork City Council do a great job of keeping this place spotless," Flaherty contested on the Neil Prenderville Show on Cork's RedFM on Tuesday morning.
"And I'll tell you – after feeding the birds and when they're gone, there is nothing there, neither."
Noting that the litter warden who approached him appeared reluctant in doing so, Flaherty made his case as a peaceful member of the community.
"[I'm there] only about 10 or 15 minutes," he explained.
"People come over to get their photograph taken with their children or give the birds a bit of corn so they land on their hands. They used to really enjoy doing it. Other people, different nationalities, used to always come over and they loved it. I've got great time for most people."
As for the future, Flaherty sounded an optimistic tone.
"I don't know, but I'm hoping that now that it's been highlighted, I might get back there. It's only for about 10 or 15 minutes. [The council workers] do fantastic work. Daunt Square is immaculate. They're great guys, a great bunch of blokes.
"I'm going to continue feeding them," a defiant Flaherty added, noting that he has been told that he will be hit with a €100 fine should he persist, a fine he intends not to pay.
"I'm going to go down there this morning and I'm going to continue feeding them... the pigeons were there before these people ever came along on this planet. I may say the pigeons were always there and it's great to see them flying around in flocks in this city. No pollution, no nothing or anything else.
"What harm am I doing down there? No harm. They're just greedy people."
Rock on, Birdman.