The carcass of a whale yesterday lay strewn on a beach after it had been battered against nearby rocks.
The fin whale, 13 metres long and more than a metre and a half high, was sighted at Raughley, north Co Sligo.
It was swept on to the rocks on Monday night in gale-force winds.
It was then swept back 300 metres into the sea and couldn't be seen until low tide, which left it straddled across the sand.
Carpenter Pat Scollan and his friend, electrician John Garvey, waded out to examine the carcass.
They said there was no obvious sign of how it died.
Environmental officers from Sligo County Council were last night examining the find.
Meanwhile, the first sighting of a dolphin in an Irish lake has been confirmed.
The cetacean (marine mammal) was spotted in Lough Hyne, a salt water lake near Baltimore, Co Cork, in recent weeks.
The sighting was made by Skibbereen-based kayaking instructor Jim Kennedy. He observed and filmed the juvenile/calf over two days and images sent to Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) confirmed it to be a common dolphin.
IWDG sightings co-ordinator Padraig Whooley said cetaceans are often seen in bays but, to the best of his knowledge, this was the first validated record of a dolphin in an Irish lake.