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told you so

"They are dump-gulls": Senator Ned O'Sullivan says he's been proved right on seagull threat

“Maybe some of the smart-alec media comments that were made all over the summer … maybe some of those guys might re-look at what they wrote now.”

NED O’SULLIVAN — THE Kerry senator whose comments on seagulls generated acres of media coverage last July says he feels vindicated by this week’s news from the Department of Health.

It emerged yesterday that the Department is seeking a professional pest control company to rid its Hawkins House HQ of the pesky birds.

“Maybe some of the smart-alec media comments that were made all over the summer … maybe some of those guys might re-look at what they wrote now,” the Senator told RTÉ’s News at One this afternoon.

The seabirds have become increasingly aggressive in recent years, O’Sullivan contends. Particularly in the centre of Dublin.

In his comments last summer, the Fianna Fáil politician said the gulls had “lost the run of themselves completely”. He added:

I saw that they’re getting so cheeky now that they attack young children and dispossess them of their lollipops and stuff like that.

ned Ned O'Sullivan Oireachtas Oireachtas

Speaking at his party’s ‘think in’ event in September, O’Sullivan insisted he would keep up his campaign against the gulls, contending that the media was “out of touch with the people” on the issue.

“Most of the major cities in Europe have a seagull control policy in place,” he said today.

Because they are no longer seagulls — they are dump-gulls. They are living — depending for a living, really — on scraps and waste.

“When I made my famous comments last June I can assure you there were hundreds of emails that I got from people who work at heights,” O’Sullivan said.

“They take no notice of anybody.

If you try and come between a seagull and a stolen sliced pan you’re likely to come off second best.

Herring Gull Wikimedia Commons Wikimedia Commons

In an email to this website back in July, the National Parks and Wildlife Service said that while the Herring Gull was widespread in Ireland, in fact “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”.

The Service’s statement continued:

Although they can at times be a nuisance, they are nonetheless a protected species; as stated above, numbers have declined in recent years and the Department does not have any plans to reduce the population. (Note that a licence would be required for any control measures on a protected species.)

The NPWS is operated by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

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

Read: Senator Ned O’Sullivan is stepping up his campaign against seagulls

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