A photograph of a dead juvenile gannet with a plastic bottle stuck in its throat taken by an amateur photographer from Wexford attracted a huge response on social media last week.
But the picture wasn't quite what it seemed after amateur photographer John Beamish, from Rosslare Harbour, discovered the yoghurt bottle had been placed in the dead bird's beak by an artist and left on the shore at Kilmurrin Cover, in Waterford, apparently to make a point.
John, a continental truck driver, said he encountered the artist when he went back to the cove to recover the dead bird which was wanted for research by marine biologists studying the impact of discarded plastics on marine life.
'Myself and my two sonds found the bird when we went rooting around the place. We had assumed it had died because of the bottle but when I went back it had gone. I came across a man who said he was an artist and he had had done it "to prove a point",' said John.
He said he didn't know the artist's name.
'He wanted to draw attention to it and he did that,' said John, adding that the artist had promised to post details of his macabre creativity on social media to set the record straight.