Page last updated at 07:08 GMT, Thursday, 23 July 2009 08:08 UK

Pack gathers for wolf-whistling first

Ireland's champion wolf-whistler, Stephen Millar, shows off his talents
Ireland's champion wolf-whistler, Stephen Millar, shows off his talents

By Freya McClements
BBC News

These days, any builder foolhardy enough to wolf-whistle at a passing woman is likely to get a slap in the face for his trouble - but not in one County Fermanagh town.

On Wednesday Irvinestown played host to Ireland's first ever wolf-whistling championships, complete with scaffolding, hard hats, and plenty of women.

The men of the town were more than eager to show their appreciation of the fairer sex, eagerly donning hard hats and lining up along the pavement to demonstrate their whistling skills.

"We're all here for the good-looking women," joked Jimmy McKenna. "It just comes naturally."

PJ Green, Jimmy McKenna and Julian South show off their whistling skills
PJ Green, Jimmy McKenna and Julian South show off their whistling skills

"I'm 73," said Conal O'Hanlon, "and I'm still whistling away, still on the lookout."

Julian South came all the way from Staffordshire to whistle.

"I heard the women were worth whistling at," he explained.

Part of the annual Lady of the Lake Festival, the parade through the streets was led by this year's 'lady', beautician Claire Timlin.

"It's a bit of craic," she laughed.

"You walk past these oul' builders all the time, sure you know what they're like.

"It's nothing new seeing all these good-looking women about in Irvinestown, there are more women than men here."

I'm 28 years old, and I've been whistling at any young thing since I was 16
Stephen Millar
Champion wolf-whistler

The politically incorrect competition was the work of festival organiser, and whistling devotee, Joe Mahon.

"It was all good fun, and we didn't get too many complaints at all - people just enjoyed the day.

"That's how I met met my wife originally, I met Marie 23 years ago.

"I whistled at her and I'm stuck to her since, as they say."

Years of practice

Joe's years of experience stood him in good stead when asked to pick a winner out of the fine whistles in competition in Irvinestown.

"I'm a good judge of a whistle, because it got me the right woman in the end.

"Stephen did a great job, and he's a worthy champion wolf-whistler."

For local butcher Stephen Millar, it was years of practice that clinched the title.

"I'm 28 years old, and I've been whistling at any young thing since I was 16.

"I'm married now, but sure, it was the whistling that did it."



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SEE ALSO
Building firm bans wolf whistling
02 Apr 08 |  Bristol
Builders' wolf whistles banished
04 Apr 07 |  South East Wales


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