Balbriggan, Sunday 16th March

0n a very sunny day in Balbriggan two seals found their freedom! This is their brief story.

Five months ago, a call came into the Irish Seal Sanctuary about a seal near Balbriggan, no name or contact number was left on the answering machine, just the location of where the seal was last seen. Mary Price went to the beach to investigate and found a tiny seal lying in a very poor state, on a pile of rubbish the tide had washed in. Bruscar brought his name with him.

Mise, our co-star (Oscar, eat your heart out!) was much the same story, again the person just left the location of the seal. ( It is important to leave a contact number when you find a seal so it makes our job easier in finding the animal.)

Bruscar a good natured seal, loved to swim and had to be left near a pool. He never let the water out of his sight!! Mise kept to herself away from the other seals and just got on with her life up in the sanctuary. She didn№t like anyone near her and would give a warning call if another seal came near her.

The release:

Well!!!! What a turnout! The first citizen of Fingal, An Cathaoirleach Cllr. Michael Kennedy and first citizen of Balbriggan, An Cathaoirleach Cllr Larry Dunne led the party of wellwishers. Derek Mooney was there with RTE and Radio One doing a live broadcast along with Don Conroy, All the papers had come out for the day and it seemed most of the country did as well! It was estimated that c 5000 people turned out to share the joy of two Fingallians going home!

The Pipe Band started the whole thing off, the bag pipes marched down onto the beach followed by the seal box, followed by the people!
Bruscar was the star of the show and first to go home thought not in any rush. He meandered down the beach and had a good look at everyone before he swam away. Sadly though not all got to see Bruscar get into the water, despite best efforts of the marshals on the day the crowd in their enthusiasm surged forward to see him off.

Click on image to see larger images

Mise got a better send off with the crowd who had waited for Mise to be released. An Cathaoirleach of Fingal County Cllr. Michael Kennedy and Cathaoirleach of Balbriggan Town Council Larry Dunne released both seals but before long the two seals were far out of sight! There was a welcoming party of local seals to meet them in the harbour so we're sure they got a good reception!

The seals, Mise and Bruscar had a yellow paint mark on the back of their heads, it will last for about three months and it№s there to see if they are doing well. So if you should see a seal swimming around with a yellow hair-do, give the Sanctuary a bell and let us know where you last seen the animal.

Special mentions: Fingal County Council, Balbriggan Town Council, Rover Pipe Band, Boy Scouts and Lifeboat and Frank Mc Grath for some excelent photos.




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