This long-standing tradition can be experienced on the lush grounds of Glenlo Abbey Hotel & Estate. Come up close and personal with a variety of birds of prey within our 138 acre estate, while guided by with one of Ireland's best Master Falconers.
Our offering includes both one to one private hawk walks, where guests can enjoy time with several different birds of prey, or display shows for larger groups.
Pre-booking is essential. To book email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (091) 519 600
Jason Deasy from Errew Co. Mayo, has spent his whole life appreciating nature, which was passed down to him from his grandfather, who from a young age showed him how to live off the land and respect it.
As a teenager Jason had more books on wildlife than schoolbooks which grew his fascination of all types of animals, and in particular large predators. After a few years of travelling around the world to places such as Australia and New Zealand, Jason fell in love with another 5,000-year-old pastime, surfing. This brought to life his love for nature as he witnessed the oceans teeming with wildlife. In Sydney Zoo he fell in love with a Wedge-tailed Sea Eagle. This fascinating bird left a lasting impression on Jason, as he swore upon his return to Ireland that he would become as Falconer.
Once back in his home country, Jason found an advert for an apprentice Falconer. He called the number straight away and in a stroke of luck he was picked out of a huge number of entrants. Jason spent two years as an apprentice, learning how to train, nurture and care for a number of different animals and birds. Over the past ten years Jason has worked tirelessly in the Irish Falconry community and is now considered a Master Falconer.
Falconry is the use of a trained bird of prey as a tool for catching food. The art form is thought to have first been used in the Far East but evidence of its use has also been found in ancient cities around the world in places like the Arabian Peninsula, Constantinople and Rome.
A little unknown fact is that the Irish Celts were hugely familiar with the use of birds of prey to catch their food, evidence of which can be found in Irish heritage sites such in Newgrange Co. Meath dating back to 2,000BC. The first written reference to falconry in Ireland was relating to The King of Tara who was said to have two hunting Hawks. Which is why In Ireland falconry is seen as a long-standing historic sport of the nobles or “The Sport of Kings”.
In the Middle ages birds of prey were prised possessions and their ownership was seen as a status symbol. Noblemen hired the original dedicated falconers to care for and tend to their birds. This position of a residential falconer came with great praise and esteem. However, with the growth of gunpowder, this skill has seen a steep decline, it was easier to manage a firearm over a highly intelligent animal.
Today Falconers use their experience and knowledge gained over the past 5,000 years to keep the population of these fascinating birds on the rise. Not only are they adept at breading the animals they also take the time and have a deep understanding on how to nurse injured birds of prey back to full health.
There are more peregrine falcons in the wild in 2021 than in any other time in history. This is due to the largest reintroduction program of its type in New York State.
The fastest racing falcons in the world are bred in Ireland. These are highly sought after all around the world.
There are over 1,000 words and phrases in the English language which come from the Art of Falconry, such as:
Under the Thumb – The way the Falconer grips the bird.
Fed – up – When a bird of prey eats too much it does not want to hunt anymore.
Hoodwinked – From the special hood put on the birds.
Haggard – Older birds caught in the wild.
End of my tether – Tethers are used in training.