Fungie the dolphin to be honoured with memorial event in 2021

Fungie the dolphin to be honoured with memorial event in 2021

IT’S BEEN nearly two months such Fungie, Ireland’s most famous dolphin, disappeared from his home of nearly 30 years in Dingle Harbour.

While mystery still surrounded the sudden vanishing of the bottlenose dolphin, one thing seems apparent: wherever Fungie has gone, he is not coming back.

Further evidence of that came this week with the announcement that plans are in motion for a remembrance ceremony celebrating the life and impact of the dearly departed Dingle dolphin.

The special event is set to take place at some point in 2021, most likely once the colder winter weather has passed and Ireland’s mass vaccination programme has helped the country return to normal life.

Jimmy Flannery, the chairman of the Dingle Boatman’s Association, confirmed to the Irish Mirror that tentative plans are being put in place for the commemoration.

He was keen to stress, however, that the community was “giving it time to sink in” before putting anything concrete together.

"Definitely, there will be something," he said.

"Whether it'll be a monument, or something to remind people and let them know that we're not going to forget him. We'll never forget him."

A team of divers has carried out an extensive search for Fungie, but there is still no sign of the much-loved Dingle dolphin.

Kerry County Council has called on the Irish Government to provide financial support for "fitting legacy for Fungie in Dingle to ensure that his story continues."

Though details still remain sketchy, local councillor Breandan Fitzgerald told the tabloid that any memorial would likely involve a water-based ceremony similar to the “Blessing of the Boats” that takes place in Dingle each year.

The “Blessing of the Boats” ceremony was first revived in Dingle back in 2009, following an absence of several years.

It saw local curate Fr Bernard Healy and his assistant Tom Browne lead a flotilla of 20 vessels of every shape and size down the harbour from the safety of a lifeboat.

Fungie famously appeared at the 2009 event, greeting every boat as it passed, making such a ceremony a fitting tribute to his legacy.

"It could be something like that, that probably will be organised by the boatmen and the fishermen," Fitzgerald said.

A monument is also likely to be erected paying tribute to Ireland’s most famous, most beloved and most missed dolphin.