Inishowen’s reputation for being a place where something different happens got a massive boost on Sunday last when a pod of dolphins entertained hundreds of surprised visitors on the shoreline between Moville and Greencastle.
Speaking to the ‘Journal’, local man Enda Craig said in all his years living at Carnagarve he had never, ever seen anything like it.
“I got a call from a neigbour telling me to get down to the shore. I rushed out grabbing my camera along the way. It was amazing. There were all sorts of people watching the dolphins give this amazing display.
“What was so spectacular was that they were so close to the shore - not more than 200 metres away. I would say there were 15 to 20 of them but they never all came up above the water at the same time. You had to keep a sharp eye on them. They were playing to their heart’s content.
“I have heard about them at Malin Head and Shroove Head but never this close in.”
He went on: “All the visitors were asking if this was normal. We didn’t totally dissuade them that it wasn’t!
“Haven’t they one one in Dingle - Funghi - and they have made a massive tourist trap down there about dolphin watching. Why not come to Inishowen and see 20!”
Mr. Craig said another element that was so riveting was that ‘the show’ went on for about an hour.
“You really couldn’t have asked for anything nicer. It was very special to be there.
“Seeing that it was the bank holiday weekend the place was bunged and word spread like wildfire. Before long there were huge crowds watching these beautiful creatures at play. You could not ask for anything better on a lovely sunny Sunday evening.
“And it could not have happened at a better time.
“There was a French party there who were absolutely enchanted, and I was told there were also a number of Italian visitors there too.
“The dolphins almost seemed to be putting on a show for the crowds as did all sorts of tricks as they dived in and out of the water.
“Quite literally money could not have bought the enjoyment we got for free.”
A well-known local environment activist, Mr. Craig said the appearance of these wonderful mammals raised a more pressing question in regard to the planned Moville sewerage scheme.
“How in under God is anyone serious about putting human excrement out into a bay which these creatures may now frequent over the years?
“Late on Sunday evening I sent the photos I took to Donegal County Manager, Seamus Neely, members of Donegal County Council, the Environmental Protection Agency, Bord Pleanala asking if they were serious about this.
“The appearance of the dolphins proves to me that this is madness at just about every level.”
The visit of the dolphins is just the latest in Inishowen’s growing list of tourism attractions - all natural.
In recent months the Aurora Borealis - the Northern lights - has frequently been seen along the peninsula’s rugged coastline. It has brought a whole new ‘species’ of tourists to the area - photographers, astronomers etc.
And the BBC and other broadcast media have visited the area to film the whales and dolphins off the coast at Malin Head. Indeed, Inishowen was singled out by BBC presenter, Monty Hall, as being a ‘must see’ place for those interested in marine life.