AN IRISH seafarer is doing his bit for the County Kerry community during lockdown by keeping Fungie, the world’s longest living solitary dolphin, company.
The Bottlenose dolphin has been a firm favourite with tourists and locals ever since arriving in Dingle some 36 years ago.
In 2019, he set a new Guinness World Record as the longest recorded solitary dolphin on the planet.
However, the current lockdown on travel has left Fungie starved of the attention usually lavished on him by sightseers and fishermen alike.
Thankfully Jimmy Flannery, who runs Dingle Sea Safari, has begun taking daily trips out to see Fungie.
He was given the green light to break the travel restrictions and check up on Ireland’s favourite dolphin by Marine Minister Michael Creed.
“He has never ever been this long without company. There are plenty of other people who go down to see Fungie even all through the winter time,” Jimmy told the Irish Mirror.
Thankfully, since resuming trips to see Fungie, the Dingle Sea Safari chief is happy to report and County Kerry’s most beloved coastal resident is in good spirits.
“He is absolutely fantastic,” he said.
“He is as good and as fit as ever. We have gone down five or six times since we got the clearance and definitely half of that time, he has jumped clean out of the water enjoying the company.
“I went out in a small boat and he would nearly jump into the boat with you. He will be delighted to see other people as well when this is all over."
With Jimmy taking as many as two trips a day out to sea, it sounds like Fungie is going to be in good company until lockdown lifts.