Clare County Council has confirmed that it removed the carcass of a whale that had been stranded at a beach in Liscannor.

The carcass was spotted by a member of the public on 25 March, and the eyewitness believed it to be a Narwhal whale because of a large tusk.

The whale was removed by the time experts from the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group went to examine the area, to try to determine the exact species.

The stranding of a Narwhal whale in waters around Britain and Ireland is extremely rare, as they rarely venture south of the Arctic habitat.

The council said this afternoon that its inquiries established that the mammal had been on the beach for several weeks.

It was in an advanced state of decomposition and, as a result, the identity of the species could not be determined.

The council said the carcass was removed on 27 March because of health concerns, as it was rotting in a public amenity area.

It employed the services of an animal disposal contractor, licensed by the Department of Agriculture, and the carcass has now been destroyed.

The council said it had not been contacted by the IWDG since the day it removed the carcass.

The IWDG understood that the council was not involved in the removal of the carcass.