1994 Castletown Donkey Derby YouTube sensation


Video star Billy Lee now top jockey

A 1994 VIDEO of a local Donkey Derby in Castletown, county Limerick, has become a global Youtube phenomenon, with 128,000 hits in the past week.
The Limerick Post can now reveal that one of the children in the video was top Irish jockey Billy Lee, then aged seven, and now based in Dubai, who loses out to his sister Jennifer Lee, current trainer.



However, Newcastle West videographer Kevin Daly, who uploaded the video, told the Limerick Post that the real star, former Castletown publican Joe O’Brien, was a last minute addition.
“He didn’t know he was commentating on the day, he was just handed a microphone”.

Kevin uploaded the video, recorded by his father George, to Youtube for an uncle in Australia.
The hilarious scenes, captured 17 years ago on behalf of Joe O’Brien, have been seen by a massive global audience.
“There are only a couple of countries in Africa where the video hasn’t been seen,” said Kevin.

One week back, the video, uploaded three months ago, had a mere 90 hits.
Kevin was surprised when it became a viral last week after it was posted on Twitter by comedian David O’Doherty.
“We always got a bit of a laugh out of it when we played it in the family pub and in Joe O’Brien’s in Castletown”.

The clip was subsequently played on the Ray Foley show on Today FM, and posted by popular blogger An Fearr Rua.
However, Joe still hasn’t seen the video on Youtube- he doesn’t have access to broadband.

Top jockey Billy Lee being interviewed by Joe O’Brien ahead of the Castletown Donkey Derby in 1994
Billy Lee in his current guise as a top jockey