Seagull swoops to steal €350 smartphone from gran
A shocked grandmother watched in disbelief as a seagull swooped down beside her and stole her mobile phone.
Vanessa Keegan (55) is the latest victim of the city's gull population, who have been described as "menaces" in the Seanad.
Ms Keegan, from Clonsilla in Dublin, was in the Botanic Gardens with her daughter and granddaughter when the bird made its move.
She was sitting on the grass when she briefly put her €350 HTC smartphone down to take pictures with her tablet.
"The seagull was right beside me," she said, "and the next thing my daughter Caroline screamed, 'Mam, he has your phone.'
"I just stood there crying and then I started laughing. I lost all my photos, videos of my son in Australia and phone numbers. The phone had a pink cover on it so he must have thought it was a piece of meat or something."
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After witnessing the gull flying off with the phone, two Botanic Garden workers rushed to Ms Keegan's aid with pitchforks and waders. However, a chase was unsuccessful, as the bird dropped the phone into a nearby pond and it was never recovered.
"Even when I rang the insurance company to report it, they asked could I not come up with something better than that," said Ms Keegan.
"I had to fill out a report, and I was even laughing at myself, and when I handed it in to the guard I knew by his eyes when he saw the word seagull he was holding back a snigger."
Ms Keegan is now awaiting a replacement phone.
Seagulls have also made the headlines in Britain recently, after attacking people and killing a pet dog.
Here, Fianna Fáil senator Ned O'Sullivan described them as winged menaces who are becoming more vicious.