In general we are not in favour of giving names to dolphins. We feel that it encourages the anthropomorphic attitude which we already find it hard enough to avoid. When the Dingle dolphin was the only solitary dolphin in Ireland, it seemed unnecessary to use any name for him, and we preferred to talk about ‘the dolphin’ or ‘the Dingle dolphin’, rather than using the confusing and unharmonious name ‘Fungie’. However there have now been at least three other solitary or sociable dolphins on the west coast of Ireland, one of them on the Dingle peninsula very close to Dingle, so we have reluctantly come round to the use of names to distinguish them more easily. The names used are the ones chosen by local people rather than the ones dreamt up by visiting journalists!
The dolphins featured on this website are:
"Fungie" - The Dingle Dolphin, resident in Dingle Harbour, Co. Kerry, since 1984. (Has also been called Dorad, Tarquin, Fungee, Fungi)
"Dusty" - resident near Doolin, Co. Clare in Summer 2000 and at Derreen near Fanore, Co. Clare since early 2001. (Has also been called Orb, Mushroom, Mara, Dolly, Fainne)
"Dony" - present around the Dingle Peninsula, Co. Kerry, especially in the areas of Dunquin Harbour and the Blasket Islands, in Summer 2001, and since then travelling in France, England and the Low Countries.
"Sandy" - encountered around Inisheer in the Aran Islands since 2001, also known as Aran.
Incidentally, has anyone noticed how dolphins tend to be attracted to alliterative place names? It started with the Dingle Dolphin, who was also known as Dorad by some people. Then we had Dusty the Doolin Dolphin, who took care to move in 2001 to the only other place nearby beginning with ‘D’, Derreen. Next came Dony, the Dunquin Dolphin, who spent the following summer in Dorset, England, and recently turned up in Dinteloord, Holland...
Although there are many more places round the coast beginning with ‘Bally..’, dolphins just never seem to turn up there!
Meanwhile the only place in Ireland we have ever had orcas hanging round (summer 2001) just happens to be called Cork!
How coincidental is that??!!