CONTROVERSY is growing about the way authorities handled the stranding of 13 pilot whales in Falcarragh.
There has been claims by locals the whales could have been saved and there was no genuine effort made by ‘experts’ to rescue the mammals.
Kevin Barrett, a local Community Employment Supervisor, said he was ‘angry, disappointed and disgusted’ with the way the authorities handled the situation. He was one of the hundreds of locals who tried in vain to rescue the whales.
“The National Parks & Wildlife, Council Officials and other so called experts let it be known that they were on the scene and were taking charge, (The only reason the were there was this was now becoming a national and international story)
“They proceeded to stop all rescue efforts, refused to let people pour water on these Mammals leaving them to die in the sun. Their reasoning for this course of action was “LET NATURE TAKE IT’S COURSE”.
They said they didn’t want the whales to get any more stressed, How much more stressed can a sea mammal get than being lying on the sand instead of swimming in the sea??
“Anyway I digress, I returned to the beach at 8.30pm to be greeted by unbelievable scenes, People sitting on these live Mammals to get their photo taken, Dogs barking and snapping at these helpless mammals, I left disgusted and in a rage if one of these so called experts approached me I would not have been responsible for my actions.
“My point is that these Whales could and should have been saved and would have been saved if the experts stayed away but they didn’t. When they decided the Whales should Die, Why were the not humanely put down by injection or shot. If the person that is responsible for that decision done the same to a Cat, Dog Cow Horse or a Sheep they would be up in court the next day charged with cruelty to animals and rightly so.
“The way the authority’s handled this situation is a disgrace and it should never be allowed to happen again and those responsible should have to explain their reasons for making the decisions they took and they must remember that with the information available on the internet we will not be fobbed off.
Mr Barrett said if the situation arose again the only authority he would contact would be the gardai.