On Monday, locals called off the search for Fungie the Dolphin, due to back weather. The beloved local legend has been missing for nearly a week.
For 37 years Fungie the Dolphin has entertained the tourists and the locals with his friendly playful antics and for the past 10 years, he has swum with the locals in Dingle Harbour.
I have had the honor of seeing him entertain boatloads of tourists and of learning a lot about him from Abi Dillon, who was so taken with him 20 years ago that she moved from England just to relocate in Dingle. Dillon has a Beach Glass Studio and focuses her art on helping keep the beaches of that storybook spot clean by using everything from boat floats to glass bits to plastics and driftwood… pretty much anything that washes ashore that she can use in her art, she does.
For the past 10 years, you were as likely to see Dillon strolling the beaches from Dingle to Inch Beach to Ventry, as you were to see her in the water swimming with the fabled dolphin, Fungie.
“We know it’s the same dolphin because of his markings and you can tell by his personality,” she told me, last time I was in Dingle.
After his mysterious absence from Dingle spanning this past week, rescue boats and search parties combed the area for any sign of him but the faithful followers like Abi Dillon who have known the playful dolphin so closely for so long never lost hope he’d surface.
You can hear about Abi Dillon's experience of swimming with her beloved friend, Fungie, in episode #29 of "Erin’s Isle" here.
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