Deirdre McGlone and Marc Gysling, hoteliers at Harvey’s Point Hotel, Lough Eske, Co. Donegal have ‘regretfully’ announced the retirement of the hotel’s pet gander ‘Harvey’ (pictured) who is well known to the thousands of guests who have stayed at the award-winning hotel over the past 27 years.
‘Harvey’, who first arrived at the hotel with a suspected broken wing , was ‘adopted’ by the Gysling family and took up permanent residence on the lakeshore in front of the hotels panoramic restaurant where he could be seen every morning waddling up from the lake at precisely 8am for his breakfast.
He was also visible throughout the day and delighted in speedily ‘chasing’ guests who did not find his favour.
The elderly and curmudgeonly gander has been showing the symptoms of ageing of late and has suffered from ill health this year. It was decided therefore to excuse him from his duties of breakfasting in public and guest-chasing and to allow him to retire at the home of Harvey’s Point founder Jody Gysling whose wife Renate has tended to the gander’s needs for many years and will continue to be his loving carer. Renate will also continue to feed the swans and wild birds on Lough Eske every morning.
Harvey has made the headlines on more than one occasion. In December 2010, he became stuck in ice on the lake. Jody and his nephew James came to his rescue by boat and precariously freed him from his frozen trap. National and local media reported the incident and naturally there were jokes about goose not being on the Christmas Dinner Menu. On another occasion, Harvey went missing for some time but thankfully he was found at the other side of the lake, quite bemused at all the attention he received upon his return home.
Said hotelier Deirdre McGlone:
‘We wish Harvey a long and happy retirement and there is no doubt that he will be missed around the hotel. Rumour has it that his son, “Harvey 2”, is currently being trained up to take over the position as lucky mascot of Harvey’s Point Hotel.