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this has wings

Senator Ned O'Sullivan is stepping up his campaign against seagulls

The media may have thought his comments on seagulls were a joke — but the Fianna Fáil politician insists the issue is a serious one.

COMMENTS BY A Fianna Fáil senator on the subject of seagulls caused much hilarity back at the start of the summer, as you may well recall.

Senator Ned O’Sullivan warned that the winged terrors had “lost the run of themselves completely” and called for recently installed Environment Minister Alan Kelly to do something about the problem.

“They’re very raucous, they’re keeping people awake,” O’Sullivan complained in the Seanad back in July, noting that the birds were now “getting so cheeky” that they were attacking young children and dispossessing them of their lollipops (yes, really).

Think-in ahead

The Kerry senator seemed a little bemused to be asked about the issue again today — but, speaking at his party’s ‘think-in’ in Roscommon, said that yes, the issue should be taken seriously, and that he intended to pursue the problem with the Minister.

“It was an issue, it remains an issue. Obviously the media decided it was a good laugh — they’re out of touch with the people on this,” O’Sullivan insisted.

There were “quite a number of positive remarks” backing his stance in‘s comments section, he said, noting that he had also had feedback about the danger posed by the gulls to “people working at heights, people working on ladders” and others.

Every single major city in Europe and throughout the world has a seagull programme and policy.

“I’ll be raising it pretty soon in the new term in the Seanad with perhaps a bit more factual basis, to back-up what was initially was a reaction to what I was getting from people on the streets from people in Dublin.”

O’Sullivan has compiled a file of correspondence he intends to present to the Minister, he said.

Asked whether he was proposing a cull of herring gulls (which, by the way, are a protected species in Ireland) he said:

A cull would not be something that would appeal to me personally, but there are lots of other methods.


Speaking to this website back in July, a spokesperson for the Department of the Environment insisted it wasn’t an issue for them, and referred our query to the National Parks and Wildlife Service.

The NPWS, in turn, insisted action had been taken on the issue in recent years…

“The Herring Gull is widespread in Ireland but the Irish population has in fact decreased hugely over the last 20 years, probably due to better management of municipal dumps where they once congregated in large numbers to feed,” a spokesperson said in a statement.

Read: Have seagulls ‘lost the run of themselves’? We looked into it…

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