FACTs |1| Hedgehogs
John Moynes knows FACTs about Ireland. Little-known facts that you probably don’t know. Don’t feel bad. There’s no shame in knowing fewer FACTs than John Moynes who, as we have already established, knows lots of them. For instance, did you know that Hedgehogs Are Illegal In South Tipperary?
Yes, Hedgehogs. In South Tipperary
In the final hours of the existence of South Tipperary County Council a motion was passed banning hedgehogs from the South Riding of Tipperary. Records from early 2014 are incomplete so there is no way of telling who proposed the motion, or how it gained support. But pass it did, and it became illegal for hedgehogs to be present in South Tipperary. As South Tipperary County Council no longer exists, the county now being managed as a single unit, there exists no body with the specific competence to overturn its decisions. The law remains in force, as the hedgehogs have not appealed to a higher body. Hedgehogs in Tipperary are, like hedgehogs everywhere, notoriously oblivious to the laws of man.
An Ancient Rivalry Revived
Two organisations work to keep the Riding free of hedgehogs. The first are the Hedgehog Wardens, a thuggish bunch of louts who accepted Council jobs in return for early release from prison. Pity the hedgehog who falls into their grasp. Though they are charged merely with expelling the spiny creatures rumours abound of their savagery, their casual cruelty, drunkenness, corruption and fondness for digging tiny graves on hillsides.
But there are also the brave souls willing to risk all to organise an underground hedgehog railroad. Posing as ramblers they scour the countryside for the banned mammals then passing them from safe house to safe house, away from the prying eyes of the Wardens, until the hedgehogs are quietly released in neighbouring free counties.
Thus do the heroes and villains of Tipperary pass their days. But at night, every night, the hedgehogs return. Snuffling past the signs, official and unofficial, that warn them away, they creep back into South Tipperary, uncaring of our laws, unable to read our signs.