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Friday 22 August 2014

Young lucky fisherman spotted pod of 23 dolphins off the west coast

Dolphins played beside Barry O'Malley's boat for one hour on Thursday

Published 01/06/2014 | 15:58

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These dolphins were spotted, along with 21 others, off the coast of Galway on Thursday. Photo: Barry O'Malley
The dolphins played alongside Barry O'Malley's boat for an hour on Thursday.

One young fisherman was lucky enough to spot a pod of 23 dolphins playing and jumping out of the water, off the coast of Galway this week.

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Barry O’Malley (18) from Aillebrack in Galway was returning from fishing on the water when he noticed a pod of dolphins following him in towards land.

Barry told independent.ie: “About 23 dolphins followed me into Bunowen Bay in Ballyconneely, Co. Galway.”

“I was just coming in after fishing, and I looked back and saw about 23 of them behind me. I hadn’t been able to hear them with the noise of the engine behind me.”

“They were there for about an hour chasing the boat.”

Bunowen Bay, about 60 kilometres from Galway, has seen its share of dolphins over the years - and even a basking shark – but never a pod this size.

And locals are guessing that it was either the recent glorious weather or some good feeding in the water that brought the mammals in.

“I went up onto the stem of the boat and I looked down and I could see them swimming under the water.”

“We haven’t seen them here in about two years. I go pleasure fishing every few days.”

“A few years ago, we had a basking shark come in.”

“Everyone’s been saying that the heat brought them in. It was scorching here for the last few days. They must have been feeding as well.”

Barry added: “They love the noise of the engine because it’s such a high frequency. They loved it – they were hitting off the boat, and I’d say if I was there for another hour they would have stayed swimming by the boat.”

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