This website was designed with two functions in mind. The first being to inform Irish readers of the extensive though relatively under-explored phenomenon of lake monster sightings. The second purpose is to serve as something of a collection point for any relevant bits of information out there, be they anecdotes, personal experiences, or vague references of any sort, pertaining to unknown animals in Ireland.
One of the many far-reaching benefits of the internet is how the instant access to information and communication allows for a greater sense of democratization of such efforts as this one. During the short time this website has been available I've received a surprising number of emails from readers who took such interest in the matter that they sought out and visited some of the cited locations with the intention of seeing what they could find out for themselves. Of course, while field work is essential to research as a whole, there's still likely to be a great wealth of information laying in wait amongst archives and literature. A trip to the regional library or a talk with a local historian can prove more rewarding (and even less costly) than trudging around in a remote bog for hours.
In this section I'll be posting \ contributions readers have thoughtfully provided.
"Sea Serpent" in Connemara
This first item comes from Ed O'Riordan of Skeheenarinka, County Tipperary. Ed came upon this impressive gem while researching for his PhD with the History Department at Cork University. To my knowledge, this is the first this article has been reprinted since it's original publication, making it quite the catch.
|Cork Examiner 15 October
'The Sea Serpent in Ireland'
The Correspondent of the Dublin Evening Mail writes as follows:-
spent a few days during the past month (August) with a very pleasant party
at the fishing lodge of a friend in the wilds of Connemara. In the
vicinity of this lodge, there are several lakes of considerable extent.
Many of these lakes are connected with each other and all of them have a
communication of some kind with the sea; they abound during the season
with salmon and sea-trout and afford much sport to the angler. Our
conversation in the evening naturally turned on the sports of the day and
the different objects of curiosity in the wild scenery around us. On one
occasion our host stated that he had heard from his head keeper, or
water-bailiff, a story of so extraordinary a nature that had he not known
the narrator, and been satisfied that he was incapable of inventing a
falsehood, he would have treated it with ridicule; that however, he was
convinced that Conneely - such was his name - had told him nothing but
what he (Conneely) believed to be strictly
Elsewhere I'd stated that in the rural regions of Connemara the "horse-eel" was widely regarded as a natural member of the local fauna. Yet it would seem the author's contacts did not regard them as anything commonplace. Adding to that, it's curious that any local term for the animals is conspicuous lacking, as though those who had seen the beasts regarded them with the same awe and ignorance as a foreign visitor. As far as physical and behavioral insight into the animals themselves, the sighting wherein the creature was alongside a boat is similar to the Lough Derg sighting and would seem to comply with the impression that these animals are far from shy to human presence.
-Nick Sucik 2004