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'Major celebration' to mark the 30th anniversary of Fungie's arrival

Dingle is to mark the 30th anniversary of the arrival of Fungie the dolphin with a weekend of festivities this month.

Image: Graham Hughes/Photocall Ireland

A WEEKEND-LONG celebration is to take place in Dingle to mark the 30th anniversary of the arrival of one of the town’s most famous adopted sons – Fungie the dolphin.

The late lighthouse keeper Paddy Ferritter first spotted Fungie in 1983 in Dingle Harbour, where the human-friendly dolphin decided to make his home.

The anniversary celebrations will part of Dingle’s contribution to The Gathering.

On 26 April, broadcaster Miriam O’Callaghan will launch a weekend of films, drama, music, sailings, exhibitions and discussions exploring Fungie’s time in the Harbour. John O’Connor, who with his family was the first to swim with Fungie when he initially came to stay, will take part in the opening ceremony – along with other early companions and recorders of the dolphin’s friendliness, Sean Mannion and Ronnie Fitzgibbon.

Dr Horace Dobbs, aka ‘The Dolphin Man’, made a film entitled The Dolphin’s Touch about Fungie which – for the first time – placed the Dingle dolphin in a healing context. Dobbs will also visit the festival and talk of his work.

All of the weekend will be family-friendly – with storytelling, activities at the local aquarium and a children’s workshop planned – and much will be free, organisers say. Sailing and swims with Fungie will also take place over the weekend.

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Local artists, singers and musicians will take part in the festivities, with duo Lumiere performing at the opening and many others taking part throughout the weekend.

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