EVEN the dogs on the street knew that last weekend in Doon was a special occasion.
The streets were practically empty as everyone was in Kilmoylan watching the dogs hare after the hares for the 80th anniversary of coursing in Doon.
The gate was up close to 200 on last year said John Power, PRO.
Even those who visited Santa Claus in Doon Community Centre got a flavour of proceedings when two hares shot past Santa.
John said a couple of canny hares slipped out the gate.
“The went up by the community centre, passed out Santa and headed for the hills of Doon!” said John. It will be another story to add to the event’s long history.
“We had an absolutely brilliant week. Crowds were well up compared to other years. It made it extra special because it was 80 years. There is fierce history with the families,” said John.
Many of the current committee’s relations were founding members and Mr Power said it would not be unusual to see three generations of the same family actively involved with the club.
Doon Coursing club president, Paddy Nolan, Liscaugh, also celebrated his 80th birthday and is as involved as ever.
Another local legend, 92 year-old old Pa Smyth, Farnane, Cappamore, who has only missed a couple of the 80 meetings, was also in Doon.
“It is handed down from generation to generation. Fathers hand it down to their children and they in turn are handing it down to their children. It’s a great tradition,” said John. There were all ages present on Seamus and Joan Barry’s land including their daughter, Aisling, who is the club’s first lady secretary.
“If you don’t have young people you’re at nothing. There were plenty of young people enjoying the day and the coursing,” said John. The hares were released back to where they were caught on Monday.
“Every hare caught is tagged, given special feed and dosed for lice and fluke,” said John, who thanked Ger Ryan “Carpenter” and his team for catching them.
“A special thank to the Barry family for the use of their land, GAA, community centre, sponsors, local businesses, park stewards - Johnny McLoughlin, Jamesie Butler, Sean Thompson, Damien Richardson, Rodger Keogh and all volunteers.”