The community of Omeath, County Louth, plans to find the American descendant of the legendary local donkey, Danny, and return him home for their Gathering get-together this summer.
Charley Boorman, TV celebrity and adventure traveler is no stranger to Ireland, having been brought up there as a child, running around the Wexford Hills. His father, renowned film director, John Boorman still has his home there.
So when Ciaran Philips, a local historian and donkey breeder from Omeath, County Louth, needed help with a particularly ‘Irish’ problem, he had no hesitation but to contact Boorman.
Over 100 years ago, the finest ass that ever trod the bogs of Ireland sailed away to America like so many Irish men, women and children.
The ass in question was no ordinary ass – far from it. This ass, known as ‘Danny’ had rescued many a man and dog from the deep and eerie peat bogs of County Louth. Some say it was his characteristic glowing white mane and tail that acted as a beacon of safety, while others take it further and claim that it was the magic of the fairies that floated Danny across the deadly bogs to help those poor lost souls in the cold dead of night.
In August 2013 in a beautiful hidden gem of the Emerald Isle, Omeath, there is a ‘Gathering’. The community is planning the coming together of Diaspora from around the world for the 2013 Global Donkey Derby Gathering.
What better way to celebrate this Gathering, than to locate and bring back Danny the Donkey’s closest living descendent from the USA. This is Philips’ challenge.
Boorman commented “When I heard that the hunt was on for a very special Irish American ass I was more than happy to help. I’ve got some great contacts around the world and already it seems we have a lead, taking us to the state of Arizona.”
With several false alarms and some American ass’s actually posing as the missing ass, Philips has his work cut out. One of Boorman’s production team has joined in the hunt and sent several images back to Omeath reporting “…it’s like it was a lottery ticket, there’s asses coming out of the woodwork looking to win their passage back to Ireland.”
One of Boorman’s finds turned out to be a mule. Charley said “…I thought I had a good eye for an Ass, but sadly, when I managed to tempt it over with a carrot, it turned out to be a mule. I was gutted.”
You can help Boorman and Philips find the right ass.
Follow Charley on Twitter and Facebook and report in if you think you have a lead. For more information visit www.donkeyderbyfestival.com.