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Jane McCormick - disability arts online
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Bats in the belfry / 5 June 2014

Bats in the belfry  Meaning: 1580s, "pertaining to bats" from bats, slang sense "nuts, crazy" is attested from 1903, from the expression (to have) bats in (ones) belfry, also meaning "not right in the head" (1901)

This time last year we had a huge colony of bats in our attic. The 'bat man' from the wildlife trust said it was probably a nursery for baby bats for miles around and we should be honoured that they choose our attic as their summer residence. What may be lovely in a barn is not not so lovely in your living space.

The smell resulting from thousands of bats and their baby's using your attic insulation as their en suite is unbelievably awful, especially on hot days. On top of that the little feckers  began wriggling through tiny cracks in the attic into my studio space below where I found them lurking in drawers, behind seat cushions, under tables, stuck to gaffa tape and occasionally floating tits up in the water basin.

Did you know it's illegal to be in pocession of a dead bat in Ireland?  Anyway, dead or alive they had to be evicted from the studio space almost daily over the summer months and not by me I might add. The sound of me screaming was the signal for my husband Joe to humanely relocate them outdoors where he hung them from a bush by their tiny creepily human like hands.

These little darlings are an endangered species so you can't remove them from their chosen roost during the breeding season. All you can do is apply for a 'licence to move' so that when they leave to go to where ever they go for winter.... Ibiza perhaps.... you can block up the holes so that they can't get back in when they return.

This we did this by the book and so when they came back this year and found they could no longer get into the attic (and they tried very, very hard ) they decided to roost in my belfry.  The belfry bat is definitely not endangered. The country is overrun with them, ever on the lookout for a vacant host to roost in and no one, not even the 'bat man', wants bats in their belfry. These bats are not 'cute' or in need of protecting. They are a scourge, a curse, an affliction and a torment. They breed anxiety, dread, fear and depression and need to be flushed out before they have time to multiply and infest the entire host. In these enlightened days it's o.k to admit openly that you want rid of the bats in your belfry and by whatever means possible, fair or foul.  I have just applied for a licence to kill......because this time it's personal.