Irish Town Holds Sheep Dung Spitting Competition

Visitors at the 37th annual Lady of the Lake Festival in Irvinestown, Northern Ireland’s Fermanagh county, were in for a stinky surprise – a sheep dung spitting competition that literally left participants with a bad taste in their mouth.

The bizarre contest, organised by local hotelier Joe Mahon, had participants take mouthfuls of sheep dung and spit it out with gusto to see who could spit the farthest. For some reason, Mahon appeared top be the most excited of the lot, even allowing sheep to poop on his face. Ugh!

Mahon is apparently well known in the town for his quirky event ideas during the festival. This year, inspired by an emu dung-spitting competition from Africa, he decided to replicate it with sheep. Festival organisers took to Facebook to find volunteers to take part in the bizarre contest. The winner was promised £100($155). 44 people finally signed up, joining Mahon on a dung spitting spree.


Photo: John McVitty

“I had the idea after a couple of Smithwicks,” Mahon said, speaking to Sunday World. “I didn’t know an awful lot about sheep dung but I had to go and collect the poo from a local farmer and then I left it in the boot of the car. My wife took the car out shopping and when she opened the boot she was nearly knocked out by the smell.” She then threatened to divorce him!

According to organizers, the current world record for dung spitting sits at 5.56 meters, but Huffington Post reports that it might actually belong to a South African man named Shaun van Rensburg, who spat a kudu (African antelope) dung pellet across 15 meters!


Photo: John McVitty

Mahon’s father organised the first Lady of the Lake festival ever, 37 years ago. There have been a few other bizarre competitions in the past – like Turkey Walks and World Championship Wolf Whistling – but otherwise it’s just like any other town festival or county fair.

“I’ve just tried to follow that tradition on, although I’d have to say my dad was a good bit more sensible than me,” Mahon joked.


Photo: John McVitty