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Unusual Phenomenon In Tipperary

All through the wintertime he hid himself away
Ashamed to show his face, afraid of what others might say.”
(Lines taken from “The Ugly Duckling,” by Danish poet and author Hans Christian Andersen (1805 – 1875).

white-robin

Picture Supplied Courtesy of Tipperary’s Award Winning Wildlife Photographer Eamon Brennan (L.I.P.F.)

Dingle / Daingean Uí Chúis, or whatever they are calling it these days, may have Fungie, a wild Bottlenose Dolphin, taking up residence in their harbour, but meet North Tipperary’s Dicky (Richard) Robin, who has taken over territory and currently resides a mere 15 minutes driving distance from Thurles, in the townsland of Raheen, Ballycahill.

Dickie, possibly the only existing albino Robin in Ireland presently, has suddenly become a tourist attraction in the area, particularly for weekend walkers all anxious to get a glimpse of this unusual cheeky member of our feathered friends. While some robins often do appear paler than others, local Ornithologists are calling Dicky’s present prerequisite simply Leucism or Dilution, latter being a genetic condition where a bird produces less-than-normal amounts of pigments, necessary to colouring its feathers in the normal way.

Since Robins don’t migrate and use mating rituals through bird song and bird behaviour, rather than using plumage colour, this albino robin could have a better chance of reproducing than other albino bird species. So could we have a family of white Robins next year? Time will tell.

In the meanwhile the word has spread and those in the Bed & Breakfast business here in Thurles are reporting an upsurge in enquiries from those anxious to get a glimpse or indeed photograph this rarest of phenomenon and newest of Tipperary celebrities “Dicky Robin.”

Bullying On Facebook

I cannot help but think of course that perhaps this rarest of phenomenon could be a gentle reminder from our great Creator, encouraging us to raise up our heads from our modern day gutter and put a stop, once and for all, to those of us who use social media to intimidate the less fortunate or those who display difference within our varied communities.

Above video is perhaps one of the best stimulating and morale-boosting of songs for young people, sung here by American actor, singer, dancer, and comedian the late Danny Kaye (David Daniel Kaminsky). In the past our youth were more subjected to this type of storytelling and with it emerged in our youth perhaps a greater confidence, greater courage and social enlightenment, demonstrating in a most effective way on how to encourage those intimidated by social media, how to stand up and lead rather than be simply sheepishly led.

Time perhaps to take a look again and borrow from past wisdom and experience, instead of providing so called governments with distracting footballs to kick around.

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