About Us

Ireland’s First School of Falconry was established at Ashford Castle in 1999 by James & Deborah Knight.
Falconers since 1990 we still have our first bird who was hatched in 1991!

The school is unique in that we train all of the hawks ourselves and we never sell them, they are part of our family and we make a lifelong commitment to them.
We are very passionate about our birds welfare and are unparalleled in our standard on this. This aspect of the school is appealing more and more to people who endeavour only to support animal experiences where the welfare of the animal comes first.
As a licensed zoological collection we are inspected annually and are delighted to share some of the comments the inspectors have made on our annual inspection reports.

Quotes from our annual inspection reports

"This was a superb facility that had been extremely well considered and the Estate had obviously invested to have the best welfare conditions for the birds possible but also demonstrated robust support for the falconry team. This is an exciting time for the centre and the inspectors look forward to seeing the finished buildings and weathering become operational. The centre continues to invest in their team and the facilities and it is an honour to see the culture and investment in people, animals and guests demonstrated at Ireland’s School of Falconry"
"The Veterinary Health Care programme is to an extremely high standard and is one of the best for a falconry unit that the inspection team have seen"
"Commended on the new mew block being built – absolutely huge space. Extremely well maintained buildings"
"Commended on the variety of the diets provided"
"Consideration for individual birds’ relationships taken into consideration at all times, very impressive"
"Very comprehensive veterinary programme in place"
"Extremely well managed environments for the birds, with monitoring and individual needs met, highly commended on the high standards, particularly the intimate knowledge of the individual birds foibles and management needs"
"All of the birds are flown to their individual needs, all at least once daily"
"The care provided extended to the staff whom were superb, engaging and knowledgeable. The inspection team were impressed across the board"
"The inspectors were hugely impressed with the passionate and intimate knowledge the team had with regard to the birds which were treated as individuals, each with their own bespoke husbandry and care programmes in place"
"Ireland’s School of Falconry is a capable operation that thoroughly knew what it was about, how it wanted to deliver its services and demonstrated that it wanted to be the best it possibly could be, which it had easily achieved."
"It was an absolute privilege to inspect such a professionally operated facility supported by a culturally positive, passionate and competent team."
"This level of understanding of birds and addressing their idiosyncrasies, is in our experience unusual and is applauded."