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A most extraordinary monster – 1876

Colonist Vol XVII issue 2039 22nd February 1876 p4

County Clare Photo: Norma Scheibe
County Clare
Photo: Norma Scheibe

The Northern Whig states that a most extraordinary monster was seen a few days ago at Fodera, near Loophead Lighthouse, which is situated on the most western point of the County Clare.  It is thus described:—

lts head and neck resemble a horse, and are of a reddish hue; it has short round ears and flowing mane, and from a poll extend two branching horns like that of a stag, underneath which were eyes glaring and protruding.  It made directly for the narrator, who was on the side of the steep rock.  He at once ran out of reach of the monster, whose approach looked anything but friendly.

It then rose high out of the water and plunged with such force as to cause the water to fly so far and in such quantities as to drench the observer to the skin, he standing 40 feet back from the water at the time.  It remained near thirty or forty minutes before disappearing a moment from view, but rearing its huge body partly out of the water, and giving a chance for further observation.  It was observed to have the tail of a porpoise and two large fins from the shoulders, and on the breast were two large fatty lumps, which shook with every motion of the extraordinary creature.  It then shaped its course westward, still keeping its head and neck well elevated. Its bulk far exceeded that of the largest porpoise ever seen on the coast.

NOTE:  Among the archives of is a post titled –  Sea monster in Galway Bay – from the Perth Sunday Times, 1935.  It refers to the shooting of a ‘mysterious sea creature’ at Mutton Island, also in County Clare.

Posted in Posts and podcasts

Sea monster in Galway Bay – 1935

Image from Hetzel copy of Twenty thousand leagues under the sea (Jules Verne)
Image from Hetzel copy of Twenty thousand leagues under the sea (Jules Verne)

A strange marine creature, twin brother of the Loch Ness monster – 48 feet long, 26 feet in circumference and weighing about four tons, has been shot by a lighthouse keeper in Galway Bay, Ireland.

The sea monster had got caught in the nets of one of the fishing boats off Mutton Island lighthouse. It carried boat and cargo, human and aquatic, for some distance until the nets gave way in shreds. A description of the monster seen once above the surface roused the entire city. Seamen and harbor officials immediatey proceeded to the beach armed with guns and gaffs.

I went out in a hooker piloted by John Walsh, an old seaman of vast experience (writes the correspondent of “The People”).
As we approached Mutton Island in miserably cold rain five shots rang out from the direction of the lighthouse. We were just in time to see an aquatic King Kong leap bodily into the air, lashing the water into a miniature tidal wave as it rolled and twisted in its death agony. We anchored to one of the monster’s giant fins and John Crowley the lighthouse keeper, who had fired the shot explained that he spotted it while about to tend the lamps in the lighthouse. Rushing down armed with a rifle he took careful aim and shot the creature in the head several times.

Opinions were divided as to the nature of the strange creature. Crowley and my companion agreed it was neither shark nor whale. Walsh stated that in 50 odd years’ marine experience he had never come across a similar specimen.

It has a head of enormous dimensions, a long scaly body ending in two knife edged tails It is suspected that more than one of these strange creatures are in Galway Bay.