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Seals' heads nailed to Irish Seal Sanctuary door

07/06/2012 14:28:28

Utterly disgusting - The seal head nailed to the seal sanctuary.

The wrong way to highlight a problem

June 2012. Last week a fishing boat in Dingle (Ireland) arrived home with roughly 20 boxes of monkfish, the majority of which had been damaged by seals. This incident is one of many which fishermen claim proves that seals need to be culled.

On the morning of 7th June, an incident took place, which is to nobodies benefit, and indeed harms the reputation of the coastal community of Dingle and the fishing industry in general.

Dingle is internationally famous as the home of Fungie the friendly bottlenose Dolphin, and the town has benefited hugely from his presence.

Heads nailed to the entrance
As the staff of international and local volunteers arrived at the Dingle Wildlife and Seal Sanctuary they found the heads of a common seal and a grey seal nailed to the entrance sign into the Sanctuary, with the words Cull and RIP written in red alongside.


Wildlife Extra is speechless about this incident. We can think of no justification that merits this kind of barbarism. This could well set the fishermens cause back years.

Whoever perpetrated this needs to be aware just how counter productive this kind of action could be - With the potential to spark a boycott of Irish fish. 

The DWSS is a major tourist attraction in the Southwest region and hosts school tours. The DWSS are generous sponsors of the Irish Seal sanctuary in their work to rehabilitate seals and raise awareness of marine issues.

The Irish Seal Sanctuary is working with the Industry and scientists in attempting to resolve conflicts between fishermen and seals. Both Common and Grey seals are protected under national and European law. Whoever is responsible for this incident has done the coastal Community of Dingle no favour's and the Gardai are investigating.

While still seeking a reduction in seal numbers the Irish Fish Producers Organisation have condemned this illegal action as totally irresponsible as it only brings the fishing industry into disrepute.

The gruesome sight that faced the staff of the sanctuary when they arrived for work 


Read the comments about this article and leave your own comment

I'm not sure

I think whoever did this, if I knew who it was would get their face beaten in by me. I just created a log in, just to say that. Although I do not condone violence, I feel it is sometimes necessary to beat someones face it so that they could understand the pain this poor animal went through. :/ Sadly probably even then, they wouldn't understand.

Posted by: misaoakiolivier | 14 Oct 2014 01:44:22

a better man than I

the response from Brendan Price Founder/Director Irish Seal Sanctuary was incredibly understanding placing blame on a few individuals, personally I wouldn't be able to handle this in such a calm manner …

Posted by: john zolis | 08 Jan 2013 22:49:31


Sad to hear anyone can cause so much pain and cruelty to any animal.I was walking by Whale island in Portsmouth and sighted a single seal enjoying a very lazy swim.What a wonderful sight that was.Theres room on this earth for fish and seals!!!!!

Posted by: Steve O'Donnell | 10 Dec 2012 16:14:09

Just so we all know that this is the type of person we are dealing with.

Posted by: susan foster | 17 Jul 2012 09:52:52

If you eat fish you are supporting such actions

It's all very well boycotting Irish fish, but who says any other country's fishermen respect animals any better? If you love animals why do you eat them?

Posted by: Jackie FITZMAURICE | 14 Jun 2012 12:48:09


Acts like this make me so ashamed to be human. Disgusting. Those poor seals. Maybe if some humans weren't such barbaric, naked apes we could find a way to fish sustainably so there was enough fish for both us and the marine life. Violence like this solves nothing and I hope they find those responsible. Sick.

Posted by: Heather Ryce | 14 Jun 2012 11:48:16


More worrying to me is that these same individuals obviously discreetly captured or killed these two poor seals at sea, and who is ensuring that they are not out there making a habit of it?

We have only seen two heads... who's to say they haven't killed more. They obviously have the means to do so.

There have been reward incentives for information put up by marine conservation orgs, and I think the sooner these rogue fishermen are brought to justice - and their punishment needs to be a deterrent - the less concern people like me will have that cruel individuals are out there torturing and killing innocent pinnipeds, who are just going about their business in their own environment.


Posted by: Rick Jones | 13 Jun 2012 15:56:49

Irish Seal Sanctuary

"It is most important to bear in mind these were the actions of some "disturbed individuals", in no way representative of the Irish fishing industry or community. Engaging in name calling and scapegoating can only result in reprisals and counter attacks and lead to further injury. ISS supporters should show forbearance and restraint and allow Gardai and NPWS do their work with the community. I would remind all, roundly condemning these actions and opposing calls for seal culls, that half our seals in the early years of ISS were brought in by fishermen and for a decade were fed by them, gratis!! Fishermen and coastal communities today continue to do us service, watch out for our safety by the sea shore and remain part of ISS network. The shame of the perpetrators is not the shame of Dingle or the Fishing Community and we will continue to work on our differences together."

Brendan Price Founder/Director Irish Seal Sanctuary

Posted by: Powell Ettinger | 12 Jun 2012 13:57:37


This is such a barbaric act. I just can't believe how sick the human race is.

Posted by: MZAZ | 10 Jun 2012 20:01:31

Utterly sick

What sick idiots. But fortunately these are indeed idiots who probably have well and truly killed off their campaign before it has even started with this ugly stunt. Normal, sensible people will be appalled by this and in an area that relies on tourism, business leaders will be horrified by the adverse publicity. Any attempts to engage in sensible dialogue between the two sides will of course now also be very difficult and ultimately that is what is needed if man and seals are to live in harmony. What this incident does highlight is the tremendous pressure our oceans are after and the dire need for marine reserves and sustainable fishing that benefits all life, not just humans.
As an aside, the recent BBC series on the Indian Ocean is essential viewing to see at first hand the terrible attrocities being inflicted on our Ocean life on a daily basis. It has certainly opened my eyes.

Posted by: Alan Corbett | 09 Jun 2012 12:01:56

Roman time

Can't believe mankind is capable to carry out these kind of activities! We are ashamed of the Romans who did similar things with Humans. How can we be ashamed of them, when we still execute similar activities to other mammals. People in the future will be astonished and ashamed on all of us! Even on the ones that tried to prevent this

Posted by: Joep van belkom | 09 Jun 2012 10:11:18

Posted by: Morag Thomas | 09 Jun 2012 09:35:27

Boycott Irish Fish!!

By what right do humans claim all fish for themselves???
These are sick individual that need to be treated the way they treat other sentient beings. Fishermen have only themselves to blame for the state of the sea.
They put nothing back and leave their rubbish every where. I hope that the fish stocks become completely exhausted and then maybe they will leave the oceans alone - but be sure they will still be blaming it on any thing but themselves like a bunch of spoilt children!!

Posted by: Morag Thomas | 09 Jun 2012 09:33:38


I have a great respect for ALL animals, but especially Marine Mammals, to which the Seals belong.

I'm sure that most Fishermen and Seals can get along very well if they understand the Seals!
The people who did this gruesome act in a Wildlife Sanctuary need to think about the harm they do to the Irish Fishermen who manage to live in harmony with the Seals, but also to the Irish Tourist Attraction.

I would suggest that the people who did this would watch an Irish made film called "A Shine of Rainbows" This is about an Orphan from Mainland Ireland being adopted by a woman of one of your Islands. He's being taught the wonders of Nature, but most of all the Seals!

Once you've watched this, you get to understand the interaction of some people with the Seals. It's a wonderful movie. I know it's a Movie, but to me it was magic, but it's also part of a true story!

People who kill animals, but most of all those people who did this to the Seals AND the Sanctuary don't show any respect for any life! Once they start killing Animals, who knows how long it'll take before they start with children? Respect for any life has gone from these people.

We don't get any Irish Fish in Australia, but we can always start boycotting anything coming from Ireland! Have they thought of these repercussions?

Especially in these times, when so many animals become extinct, we should try and preserve any animal life we can and not start out crying Cull, because the Seals have eaten some fish, or part of them! After all, it's the Seals' Territory!

The people who did this to the Seals need to be brought to justice, before they can do worse damage!

Posted by: Agnes Hall | 09 Jun 2012 05:29:04


The Irish Seal Sactuary is working with the fishing organisations to resolve any cionflicts. All the fishing organisations have been quick to comdem this incident. We dont know who is responsible but pointing fingers at anyone does not help. We await the Garda investigation

Posted by: Johnny Woodlock | 08 Jun 2012 22:37:40


For goodness sake :( what are they thinking - oh let's kill the Irish gits that done this & nail their bloody heads to the wall in rememberance of how cruel they are - very SAD

Posted by: Roberta Bown | 08 Jun 2012 19:25:51

WHAT IS THIS AND WHY????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

WHY on earth would anyone do this??
I don't understand or get why on earth people... who i dont even want to Fuc*ing call people would think this is necessarie!!!
I'd take a jail sentence to find these sick twats and cut there heads off and nail it to there front doors!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: maria hudson | 08 Jun 2012 18:51:40

Absolutely disgusting

I can't believe they thought that would make a difference, it only builds immense anger and confusion by people, be they animal lovers or not. It is disgusting, barbaric and completely wrong. Absolutely, completely wrong. I really do hope those responsible are found out for this.

Posted by: Lorna | 08 Jun 2012 17:38:04


the seals in the irish sea have just as much right if not more to the fish than we do.

Posted by: Elliot | 08 Jun 2012 17:08:23


Whilst this is a despicable act of cruelty it is the actions of a few not the many, boycotting Irish fish is not going to help any situations.. dialogue will likely be a better course of action.

Fishermen do not have it easy, and nor do conservation workers and organisations.

Dingle bay is lovely and this really does cause its reputation harm, those responsible should most certainly be brought to account for this wreckless act on beautiful creatures.

I hope that no more sinister actions take place.


Posted by: ninjaprints | 08 Jun 2012 17:06:39

Vile act

It is distressing to think that any human being can believe this is the right thing to do. It is cowardly and despicable act that defies logic, what did they think they would achieve? Right in the middle of the tourist season? Do they really think people are going to look sympathetically on their comment?

Who ever did this represents no one but themselves.

My sympathies are with the volunteers and staff of all the groups that care for wildlife, anywhere in the world and have to endure this type of abuse.

Posted by: pauline beades | 08 Jun 2012 15:55:58


Anyone who thinks this seal atrocity is the work of sick, sad people but also thinks it would be a laugh if it were a human head is in need of serious reeducation.

Posted by: Dermot McCabe | 08 Jun 2012 15:40:44

Boycott Irish Fish

I will now boycott Irish fish / products and I will ensure that my friends and family follow suit. I am going to endevour to spread the word about this barbaric act and hope the people that carried out this act get their just deserves.

Posted by: Carly Jones | 08 Jun 2012 12:26:41

Seal Heads

Irish Seal Sanctuary Founder, Brendan Price and Fisheries Leaders jointly condemn this action. Statements on Irish Seal Sanctuary FB...

for further comment call or e-mail through

Posted by: brendan and mary price | 08 Jun 2012 12:18:17


I'm sometimes tempted to think we need to go to war against some farmers and fishermen. They want everything their way. They somehow want governments to find them more fish to catch when they've already fouled their own grounds with overfishing. And unlike any other industry that fails when their products are no longer required, farmers insist on being funded by the taxpayer to produce what we don't need.

And when they don't get their way - which isn't often - they so often turn to violence against compassionate people and helpless animals.

Posted by: Trevor Williams | 08 Jun 2012 12:05:43


How could anyone be so cruel as to do this!?!?

Posted by: Ally | 07 Jun 2012 17:55:38

It is just unbelievable that there are so many sick, sad people on this planet. The Seals were here a long time before us and we should learn to live in harmony with each other.

Wouldn't it be a laugh if, when the people who did this went into work they found a human head nailed to a board!! hopefully one of their relatives!

Posted by: TONY WEBBER | 07 Jun 2012 16:28:33


how sick is this. used to happen with foxes and deer heads nailed to wildlife sancturies in this country. goes to show the mentality of people who wish to hurt animals

Posted by: dee donworth | 07 Jun 2012 15:59:05

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