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23rd Oct 2021

Fungie will be honoured with a special memorial day in October

Ellen Fitzpatrick

We miss you, Fungie.

Fungie is set to be honoured with a special memorial day this month after the famous dolphin disappeared from the Dingle area.

The town is planning a special day in his memory on October 17th, with fishermen in the area offering free boat trips.

Those who take boat trips with the fishermen on the day are asked to make a donation to the Dingle Coast and Cliff Rescue as well as Mallow Search and Rescue.

Organisers of the event have said that they are planning it as a way to show their gratitude for Fungie as he brought them so much tourism over the last 37 years.

Fungie spent nearly four decades off the Kerry coast, entertaining tourists and locals alike, but hasn’t been seen since October 2020.

RTÉ News reported last year that fishermen and divers had been undergoing extensive searches of the area to no avail.

Marine biologist Kevin Flannery said that Fungie might have gone out to sea to feed with other dolphins, but that there is also a chance the dolphin may have died.

“We think he was about nine years of age when he first arrived here in 1983 so that puts him at 45,” he said. The experts tell us that the usual life-span of a dolphin is in and around 45-50.”

“He is a wild animal living in the wild. Attempting to catch fish at that age is challenging for him. There’s a possibility he could have picked up an infection and could have died.”