THE SUDDEN disappearance of Fungie the Dolphin has hit the coastal community of Dingle and much of Ireland pretty hard.
Fungie the bottlenose dolphin was last seen swimming off the coast of Kerry back on Saturday, October 13.
A Dingle resident for the past 37 years, he holds the record the world’s longest living solitary dolphin and was a firm favourite with locals and tourists alike.
His sudden disappearance sparked days of desperate searching to no avail.
Eventually the search was called off. No trace of Fungie was ever found.
Tributes have been flooding in ever since.
He could still yet return but there is a growing sense of acceptance that Dingle’s beloved dolphin has gone forever.
Nowhere is that more evident than in the first musical tribute to the life and times of Fungie.
10,000 Candles in the Wind - Fungie the Dolphin Memorial Song by YouTube musician Niall Quinn FTW might be a tongue-in-cheek tribute to our favourite sea mammal, but it still finds a way to tug at the heart strings.
Channelling his inner Chris Rea with a little Bruce Springsteen thrown in for good measure, the song is full of inspired lines, like the instruction to “Trade your dorsal fin for angel’s wings”.
Later, Niall Quinn FTW instructs the absent Fungie to “Take a graceful leap and learn to fly”.
Built around the catchy chorus of “Bye, bye Fungie the dolphin” the song goes on to express hope that he’s “Swimming up in heaven’s bay” while noting, with regret, that “Humans can’t get splashed by ghost”.
Inspired - to put it gently - by the hit US sitcom Parks and Recreation and a tribute track written for fictional local hero and miniature horse Lil Sebastian.
In spite of this, the song has gone down well with fellow Fungie lovers on YouTube.
“Brilliant, I love this tribute to Fungie,” one fan wrote.
“A worthy tribute for the champ,” another said.
A third, meanwhile, summed up the feeling thusly: “Gone but not forgotten.”