The Limerick Tumbler
The Limerick Tumbler is a small short faced, feather-legged breed which despite it's appearance is well capable of flying. They are a small dainty breed with a very jaunty appearance and a rather cheeky manner, but despite the muffs and the short beak they are a no-nonsense breed hatching and rearing their own youngsters with ease. The Limerick Tumbler is a new breed of pigeon, indeed it has existed for less than forty years, and the Breed Standard was only adopted by the NPA in 2002. As the name implies the breed originated across the water in the 'Emerald Isle', and it is there that the best specimens of the breed are to be found.
During the 1960's the late Michael McDonnell came up with a wish-list for a breed: he wanted a muffed short-faced tumbler, he wanted the breed to be good looking, he wanted it to be able to feed and rear it's own young, and further more, he wanted a breed which could fly and perform, certainly an optimistic man! He could find no breed which approached his wish-list and so he decided to create it! He travelled over to England and returned with several pairs of English Short Faced Tumblers which he subsequently mated to the local flying and performing muffed tumblers (including Oriental Rollers according to some sources), and so the Limerick Tumbler was born.
By 1983, in just under twenty years Michael McDonnell had succeed in creating a breed which satisfied his wish list. Unfortunately in that year his lofts were broken into and all his birds were taken save for two pairs; he was devastated by the break-in and gave the remaining two pairs of his infant breed to his good friend Austin Quinn who continued to develop the breed. Today all existing Limerick Tumblers are descended from the two pairs that their creator, Michael McDonnell, gave to Austin Quinn in 1983.The interests of the Limerick Tumbler are looked after by The Limerick Tumbler Club which is based in Ireland
The Limerick Tumbler was recognised by the National Pigeon Association in 2002 and the first NPA Certificate awarded to the breed at the 2003 Doncaster Show, with a further Certificate on offer at the 2004 Doncaster Show, and a third NPA Certificate awarded at the NPA Blackpool Show in January 2007. The breed is slowly spreading and in November 2006 no less than 46 Limerick Tumblers were exhibited at the European Show held in Leipzig, the majority were shown by exhibitors from Ireland.
Though the Limerick Tumbler is recognised in most colours there is no doubt that the most desirable and highly sought after colour is the Almond, the body is basically a yellowish buff colour with dark blue-black-bronze flecking, while the flight and tail feathers show blue-black-bronze, yellowish buff, and white patches: it is a randomly mixed or variegated effect similar in some ways to the tortoiseshell cat. It is interesting that as Almonds grow older the colour intensifies and darkens,with each successive moult, until it may look like a normal coloured bird - a strange colour variety indeed! The genetics of Almond is fascinating and the very unusual colouring is the result of a dominant, sex-linked, de pigmenting mutation.