Seagulls in Dublin have "lost the run of themselves", a Fianna Fáil senator has told the Seanad.

Senator Ned O'Sullivan said the birds are keeping people awake all night and stealing food.

The birds are even threatening to attack children in a bid to steal sweets and lollipops, he said.

These birds are no longer seagulls in the true sense of the word, he said, but are in fact scavengers.

The senator said new Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly must act quickly to deal with this problem.

The Kerry senator said this issue might sound funny but it is really a very serious one.