Anatidaephobia is the irrational fear that somewhere, somehow, a duck is watching you.

Drunk assaulted teenage neighbour with leg of a duck(Galway, Ireland)

(Photo: The incident took place in An Sean Bhaile in Doughiska)

A leg of duck became a dangerous weapon in the hands of a highly intoxicated woman who swung it at a neighbour’s daughter, dislocating the teenager’s nose.

49-year-old Bianca Fahy found out she had Covid-19 a few days earlier, but removed her mask to cough and spat at Gardaí when they arrived to deal with a fracas between her and her neighbours at An Sean Bhaile, Doughiska at 3pm on February 3 last year.

Fahy pleaded guilty moments before her trial was due to begin before a jury at Galway Circuit Criminal Court last November to assaulting the 15-year-old girl, causing her harm, on that date.

She also pleaded guilty to two separate charges of assaulting Garda Seamus McDonnell and Garda Ciaran McCarthy while obstructing them in the course of their duty.

Fahy further pleaded guilty to breaching the peace, by engaging in threatening, abusive and insulting words or behaviour at An Sean Bhaile and to being drunk in public on the same occasion. Sentencing had been adjourned in the case until now.

Prosecuting barrister, Geri Silke said the State was proceeding with the assaults on the teen and Garda McDonnell only, and that the pleas were acceptable on a ‘full facts’ basis in relation to the remaining charges.


Sergeant Grace Hennessy gave evidence the girl noticed Fahy outside her home punching a kick-boxing dummy, trying to knock it over. Fahy eventually managed to knock over the dummy and was in the process of trying to burn it when a young man came out of the house to try and stop her.

Fahy assaulted him and then turned her attention to his sister, hitting her in the face with a leg of duck she happened to have in her hand at the time.

The girl had to have her dislocated nose realigned in hospital.

When Garda McDonnell and McCarthy arrived a group of neighbours had gathered.

Fahy was running at them, roaring and shouting and trying to assault them.

Both Gardaí were aware Fahy had tested positive for Covid-19 a few days beforehand and while she was wearing a face mask, they repeatedly asked her to keep her distance from members of the public.

“She pulled down her mask and coughed at both Gardaí. She shouted at them she had Covid and continued to lash out, refusing to keep her social distance.

“Garda McCarthy had no choice but to restrain her and when he went to do so, she kicked his leg. It was bruised and tender for a few weeks afterwards,” Sgt Hennessy said.

Fahy was arrested and later denied punching the 15-year-old girl.

In her victim impact statement, which was read into evidence on her behalf, the girl said she no longer felt safe in her home.

She said she also felt self-conscious about her nose as it was no longer the same shape as before the assault.

The girl said she and her family still wondered why Fahy picked on their house. “I’ll be terrified if she doesn’t get punished for her threats,” the girl added in her statement.

Impact statements from both Gardaí were also read into evidence. Garda McCarthy said he knew before arriving at the scene that Fahy had Covid from dealing with her previously and both he and Garda McDonnell asked her to step back from them to prevent the spread of the virus.

“This was at a time when there was no vaccine and deaths were high.  She ignored us and ran at us, took down her mask and coughed and spat at us,” he said.

He said he had to put a spit mask on her before he and Garda McDonnell could arrest her.

Both Gardaí had to undergo two PCR tests and isolate from their families and work colleagues for two weeks.

He said they missed out on work also at a time when resources were stretched due to the pandemic

“This was a horrific experience and totally unnecessary. She carried out a serious assault as she tried to infect both of us,” he added.

Both Gardai did not contract Covid and were able to return to work on February 19.

In his impact statement, Garda McDonnell said he had been a Garda for 24 years and he knew Fahy through his work for over ten years.

On the day, she was highly intoxicated and would not calm down, he said.

He found the 14-day Covid isolation period particularly distressing while having to take two PCR tests wasn’t nice either.

He said Fahy’s behaviour meant he had to endure torture by having to isolate for two weeks on his own.

“That was two weeks away from my family and friends.  It was lonely and stressful and it brought the reality of the pandemic home to me and to my family.  I hope I never have to go through that again, it was a lonely time,” he said in his statement.

Sgt Hennessy said Fahy had lived at An Sean Bhaile for several years and caused a lot of problems there. She said she had since been re-housed in Knocknacarra on the other side of the city.

Fahy was ‘nice and easy’ to deal with when sober, she said, before adding she had 119 previous convictions.

Ten were for assaults, 20 were for thefts, six for criminal damage and six for obstructing Gardai. The remaining were for road traffic offences, public order offences and one for possession of a knife.

Defence barrister, Garry MacDonald said his client was apologising to both Gardaí and her former neighbours.

He said his client was “extremely entertaining and fun to be around” when sober and she had not reoffended since moving out to Knocknacarra.

Judge Brian O’Callaghan disagreed, observing Fahy was a menace while also noting probation deemed her to be at high risk of reoffending.

Mr MacDonald conceded his client had been a common sight in the District Court across the hall over the years and was well known to Gardaí but all of her offences were linked to her alcohol problem and she was a nice lady when sober, he said.

“She did punch this young lady with a duck leg.  If it wasn’t so serious it would be funny,” counsel said.

“She needs to smell the coffee at this stage of her life,” Judge O’Callaghan said before sentencing Fahy to two years in prison with the final six months suspended for two years for the first assault.

He directed she keep the peace for two years and come under the supervision the probation service for 18 months on her release from prison. She must also abstain from alcohol and drugs and undergo random toxicology screening as directed by the probation service.

The judge imposed a similar sentence on Fahy for the assault on Garda McDonnell, describing it as a particularly nasty assault. He took the remaining public order charges into account and directed Fahy was to get credit for time already served while on remand in prison awaiting sentence on these charges alone.



10 Horrifying Facts About Ducks


Many of us grew up loving ducks. We would chase around ducklings or coo over how cute they were. With their silly-sounding quacks and big paddle feet, ducks are generally regarded as adorable and funny birds. They bob around our lakes and rivers, minding their own business or eating our breadcrumbs. Donald Duck is a beloved character around the world, even though he doesn’t wear pants.

However, ducks are not as cute and innocent as they first seem. There’s a dark side to these animals that many people do not know about or even suspect. Ducks are sometimes cruel and violent. They have bizarre body parts and strange behaviors that you don’t often see in other animals.

For too long, ducks have been revered as harmless and silly. For too long, the public has been ignorant of the dark tendencies of our friendly neighborhood ducks.

10Duck Penises

Photo credit: National Geographic

Did you know that duck penises are shaped like corkscrews? They are stored in sacs under their bodies, but when a duck penis is erect, it can become up to 20 centimeters (8 in) long. That’s about a quarter of the length of the animal’s entire body. To put that in perspective, that would be like a human having a forearm-sized member. To make this even more bizarre, it’s helpful to know that 97 percent of bird species don’t even have a penis.

To make things even worse, the penises of ducks are sharp and full of backward-pointing spikes. They are specifically made to stab into the female duck painfully. The spikes dig into the female duck’s vagina like a hundred sharp hooks to prevent escape.

Also, a difference between the penis of a mammal (such as a human) and a duck is that the duck everts his penis directly into the vagina instead of getting an erection before sex. The male duck just mounts the female and then stabs her in one motion, as though using a grappling hook.[1]


9Mating Rituals

Photo credit:

How have female ducks evolved to deal with the horrifying genitalia of their male counterparts? The females have counterclockwise vaginas to confuse and deflect the clockwise penises. They also have misleading tunnels that act as a barrier against full penetration.

Why? Dear God, why? Because ducks rape each other all the time.

This forced copulation had caused the female duck to evolve in a way that scientists label “a sexual arms race.” The more terrifying the male genitalia, the more convoluted and tricky the female genitalia. It just goes to show that female ducks are not complacent in this violent and forced copulation.[2]

Ducks also routinely engage in gang rape. Yep, gang rape. It’s not uncommon for three to six male ducks to chase and violently rape one female. On the other side of the spectrum, if a female duck is into the male duck “courting” her, she can relax certain muscles to make sure that the sperm of the favored male will fertilize her eggs.

Only about 3 percent of forced copulations end in ducklings, which makes us feel a little bit better. Still not great, though.

8Straight-Up Murder

Today marks five years since beloved River Walk duck ‘George’ was tortured, killed

If you’ve ever lived by a lake or had a lot of contact with ducks, chances are that you’ve seen duck-on-duck violence. Even duck murder. The mating season for ducks is a brutal time, especially for females, as we previously discussed.[3]

But from time to time, ducks will actually drown one another while mating. Most females lose at least a few feathers on the backs of their heads and necks due to the males biting during the forced act, but some females will even lose eyes.

At times, humans also commit atrocities against ducks. A popular local Texas duck named George was brutally murdered in 2013, prompting The Humane Society and San Antonio Crime Stoppers to offer a large reward for the culprits.

George the duck was a very friendly fowl that used to pull on everyone’s pant legs. Often fed by local restaurants, he was a staple tourist attraction on the River Walk. Even with a reward of over $10,000, no suspects were ever captured.

7Duck Poop-Borne Diseases

Poop is never a sanitary thing. Around most lakes and rivers, duck and goose poop accumulates and piles up like little stinky white hills. Ducks poop everywhere, and it’s no surprise that too much poop can cause health problems for us and other species as well.

The CDC warns that duck poop can carry diseases that are dangerous for humans, such as E.coli and Salmonella. Many people who handle their own pet ducks or geese will contract Salmonella infections every year. In 2016, there were a reported 895 cases from bird owners. Of course, many cases go unreported. A Salmonella infection is usually not life-threatening and just results in a lot of diarrhea and nausea.[4]

However, duck droppings can potentially carry up to 60 different diseases, some which are very harmful and dangerous for humans. Histoplasmosis is a respiratory disease spread by a fungus that grows over dried duck droppings, and it can be fatal. To be honest, it’s best to just stay away from any kind of poop. But duck droppings seem to be everywhere. So watch out, they could kill you.

6The Hard Life Of A Duckling

Many ducklings, those cute little cheepers that follow their mothers around the pond, won’t make it to adulthood. The survival rate is awful: Only about 60 percent grow into fully independent ducks.

Various things impact a duckling’s chance at survival. For example, bad weather. Hail has been known to kill a record number of the little guys. However, habitat is the number one influence on survival rate. A good habitat that protects the duck family from bad weather and predators is essential. But with humans building an increasing number of cities and man-made ponds, good habitats are hard to come by.

A duckling is also the perfect prey for a whole host of other animals. Even fish can swim up to the surface and gulp them down. A big enough bullfrog will eat a duckling, too.[5]

Hawks, foxes, snakes, and turtles will gladly snatch up a duckling snack. These baby birds are almost helpless until they finally reach maturity at 50–70 days of age, when they can finally fly. But they can never fly away from the evil that lives within themselves.


Imagine walking around a beach, picking up the sharpest rocks that you can find, and then popping them into your mouth. You swallow the sharp rocks, and they go into your tiny, second stomach. This is called a gizzard. Most birds have them.

Why do ducks swallow sharp rocks and pebbles? To grind up the bones of the fish that they swallow whole. That’s right, they make their own set of teeth DIY-style. This is called a gastrolith.[6]

Once the rocks are not sharp anymore, ducks will vomit them back up and look for new rocks. This means that you can potentially pick up a nice, rounded stone that has been in a duck’s gizzard.

Sometimes, ducks will swallow more than just regular rocks. There are plenty of examples of miners finding actual gold in the gizzards of ducks and other birds. The miners simply followed the ducks to where they had been scratching around in the earth and found profitable veins of gold. Other intrepid people in the gold rush era would even pick through bird droppings trying to find gold.

4Duck Eyelids

Photo credit: Gouldingken

Did you know that ducks have better vision than dogs? Ducks can see in full color, and due to the sideways placement of the eyes on their heads, they have a nearly 360-degree view of the world around them.

Ducks have two to three times better vision than humans. Although these animals have poor night vision, a duck’s eye contains cones that we do not have. This allows them to see ultraviolet light.

They also have a freaky third eyelid. However, that’s not necessarily odd. All birds have three eyelids. These “nictitating membranes” are used like underwater goggles to improve the duck’s vision while diving.[7] A ton of other animals sport this handy eyelid feature as well. If you look closely enough, you can see them on a dog, too.

3A Duck’s Cold, Unfeeling Foot

Photo credit:

Ducks are like weird, bionic, terminator birds. They have developed very specific body anatomy to deal with cold winter lakes and their chilly watery lifestyle.

We all know that ducks have webbed feet, but did you know that a duck can restrict blood flow to his feet? As the temperature drops, less blood will flow to a duck’s extremities. This is how a duck can swim in frigid water and stand comfortably on ice.

Duck feet will also change color during the mating season. Much like a red baboon butt, a duck’s foot will swell and turn a bright red when they are beginning to pair off. Both male and female feet will be red until the summer, when they turn a drab color again to blend into their surroundings.[8]

2Duck Vigilance

You can never surprise a duck. They are always watching, always waiting. It’s terrifying. It’s hard for predators to sneak up on an adult duck, and hunters will tell you that it’s necessary to remain completely still and totally camouflaged while waiting to shoot.

Ducks are proven to sleep with one eye open. When sleeping in a group, ducks will almost always sleep in a line. The duck at the end of the line will keep one eye open to watch for predators.

A study in 1999 revealed something very interesting about ducks’ sleeping habits. While one eye is open, only half of the duck’s brain is asleep while the other half is awake. They can shut off half their brain.[9]

1A Grand Passage

A grand passage sounds like something lofty and majestic, something a rich duck would do before diving into a pile of gold coins. It sounds nothing like a scene out of a horror movie. (Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds? Apparently, things like that totally do happen.)

A grand passage occurs when an entire population of ducks goes crazy. It usually happens after weird weather patterns occur—sometimes, a massive cold front will cause millions of ducks to migrate at once. This phenomenon happens from time to time, but it is always jarring and frightening to the people on the ground underneath these gigantic clouds of ducks.

At times, they number so many that airports are choked with ducks and airplanes have to wait until the mass of birds moves on before they can resume service. The huge number of ducks can jam radar systems and black out the sky.[10]

A grand passage is a terrifying sight, but ducks will always pass right over us humans. We’re lucky that no death from duck has ever been reported. Yet.

Found everywhere except Antarctica, “duck” is the common name for several species of waterfowl. While they’re in the same family as swans and geese, they are smaller and have shorter necks. These birds are mostly aquatic and are found in both fresh and seawater.