• July 6, 2015


‘If you are in a hole stop digging’ that’s a piece of advice the Isle of Man Constabulary might well heed.

We reported recently on David Cameron’s close encounter involving a seagull and his ham sandwich and his apparent desire to wipe out the species. Later the ‘seagull hating virus’ had apparently spread to British Aerospace who appeared mortified when a cull they wanted near the Warton aerodrome was ‘knocked back’ by the Court of Appeal (see links);


Not to be out down the Manx Cops (you’ll remember them there the ones who famously cannot catch burglars running rampart on the Island) pitched up recently at the home of an eighty-one year old woman her crime she had been feeding birds and even worse some of them were gulls!

Her story, broken on a local animal sanctuary faceboook site, (where the lady in question has been a diligent helper for years) apparently incorrectly said she had been served with an ASBO. Understandably there was considerable outrage.

No! no, the Police said we were only trying to get her to agree to an ABC (an Acceptable Behaviour Contract). Now how the lady concerned confronted by not just the Police but also for some reason a local Commissioner and a lay preacher could be expected to know the difference between an ASBO and an ABC we don’t know. In any case to her credit she refused to sign anything.

As the story broke the ASBO/ABC squad were at pains to stress her unacceptable behaviour was, feeding gulls!

To spice things up the gulls ‘a la the David Cameron experience’ were aggressive (most birds are if they’re hungry) and had attacked people.

All of a sudden it was almost as if a scene from Alfred Hitchcocks, ‘The Birds’ was being played out on the Isle of Man.

The events took place at the village of St Johns where there is an arboretum and pond close to the Tynwald Hill site. One wonders if the annual Tynwald Ceremony next week will have to be cancelled because of the danger of aggressive gulls in the vicinity.

Seriously, the case highlights the attitude in some sections of society in Mann towards the elderly. It appears the view was that because the issue (as the police put it) had been going on for sometime they reserved the right to turn up out of the blue and on the door of an eighty-one year old woman and present her with an ABC. One wonders if the person in question had been quite a few years younger if the same attitude would prevail.

The Manx police need to take a good hard look at their procedures and if they are engaged in formal business the involvement of local officialdom, no matter how important it thinks it is, should be avoided.

In the meantime maybe they could give the Gulls and the Elderly a rest and try and catch those burglars!


Mann Cat Facebook original story yesterday:


Manx Radio and 3 FM (with the Manx Police ‘still digging that hole’)




J B Moffatt (Mr)

Director of Information
Celtic League


(Please note that replies to correspondence received by the League and posted on CL News are usually scanned hard copies. Obviously every effort is made to ensure the scanning process is accurate but sometimes errors do occur.)


The Celtic League was established in 1961and has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on socio-economic issues

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