Friday 18 October 2019

Fin whale that washed up on Dublin's Dollymount Strand is buried on beach

The fin whale being buried on Dollymount Strand. Picture: Mick Carolan
The fin whale being buried on Dollymount Strand. Picture: Mick Carolan
Luke Byrne

Luke Byrne

THE fin whale which was last week discovered dead in the River Liffey and later washed up on Dollymount Strand has been buried on the beach.

The secretary of the Irish Whale and Dophin Group (IWDG), Conal O'Flanagan, told Independent.ie it was the correct way to deal with the carcass.

Diggers excavated a giant grave for the whale's carcass.

Along with the smell, the remains could have posed a danger to public health, he said.

"This is the proper way to deal with the remains," said Mr O'Flanagan

"For one thing, it is very smelly. But it can also pose a risk to the public, who can pick up diseases.

The fin whale being buried on Dollymount Strand. Picture: Mick Carolan
The fin whale being buried on Dollymount Strand. Picture: Mick Carolan

"It's not advisable to touch a dead whale," said Mr O'Flanagan.

He said that the remains would be tested.

READ MORE: Whale spotted off Dublin coast thought to be same animal discovered dead in River Liffey

"We have taken blubber samples," he added.

The fin whale being buried on Dollymount Strand. Picture: Mick Carolan
The fin whale being buried on Dollymount Strand. Picture: Mick Carolan

However, he said it was unlikely they would discover what exactly killed the whale.

The IWDG was first notified on Tuesday of a whale in Dublin Bay.

It later made its way up the River Liffey, a sign that it was not well.

"We got a call to say that a whale had been spotted off Red Rock in Sutton on Tuesday.

The fin whale being buried on Dollymount Strand. Picture: Mick Carolan
The fin whale being buried on Dollymount Strand. Picture: Mick Carolan

"Then, on Wednesday there was another sighting in the River Liffey near Dublin Port, where no whale should be," Mr O'Flanagan said, speaking last week.

READ MORE: 'It's very upsetting' - concerns as decomposed whale washes up on Dublin beach

"The fact that it was seen in shallow water off Sutton, the feeling was that it was not a well animal," he said.

The fin whale being buried on Dollymount Strand. Picture: Mick Carolan
The fin whale being buried on Dollymount Strand. Picture: Mick Carolan

"We are assuming that the sightings were of the same whale."

At first they believed it was a minke whale, but it later emerged it was a fin whale – the second-largest animal on the planet.

Such whales usually feed in much deeper oceans on fish.

"It was a long way from where it should have been.

"The fin whale is an interesting animal, it’s only a bit smaller than a blue whale," he said, adding that while the one spotted dead in the Liffey was young, a fully grown adult can be 25m long.

The fin whale being buried on Dollymount Strand. Picture: Mick Carolan
The fin whale being buried on Dollymount Strand. Picture: Mick Carolan

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