A female bottle-nosed dolphin has been living in the waters off the west cost of Doolin in County Clare for at least a year and has become popular with swimmers.
It is possible the dolphin came from a resident school of dolphins which has established a calving ground in the Shannon Estuary.
In recent weeks the mild weather has brought the dolphin into a number of coves between the village and the Cliffs of Moher. She has become a huge hit with locals and visitors, sometimes entertaining them for hours.
Irish Coast Guard Nick Sheehan has warned people not to swim with the dolphin as the waters in the coves can be extremely dangerous. He notes however that
People will do what they want to do, we can only warn them.
Similarly, the Heritage and Wildlife Service Dúchas is asking people not to get into the water with the dolphin, nor to swim or touch her, as it could endanger her feeding and breeding ground.
However with a very friendly dolphin and a beautiful summer’s day that seems highly unlikely to happen.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 28 August 2000. The reporter is Cathy O'Halloran.