Seagull steals gran's phone as she took a picture on family outing
A SHOCKED grandmother watched in disbelief as a seagull swooped down beside her and stole her mobile phone.
Vanessa Keegan (55), of Clonsilla, Co Dublin, was walking in the Botanic Gardens with her daughter and granddaughter when the bird made its move.
Ms Keegan was sitting on the grass when she briefly put her HTC smartphone down to take pictures with her tablet.
That's when the seagull swooped and took the €350 mobile from the grass.
"The seagull was right beside me," she said, "and the next thing my daughter Caroline screamed, 'Mam, he has your phone'!
"I just stood there crying and then I started laughing. I lost all my photos, videos of my son in Australia and phone numbers.
"The phone had a pink cover on it so he must have thought it was a piece of meat or something."
After witnessing the gull flying off with the phone, two Botanic Garden workers rushed to Ms Keegan's aid with pitchforks and waders.
However, a chase was unsuccessful, as the bird dropped the phone into a nearby pond and it was never recovered.
"Even when I rang the insurance company to report it, they asked could I not come up with something better than that," said Ms Keegan.
"I had to fill out a report, and I was even laughing at myself, and when I handed it in to the guard I knew by his eyes when he saw the word seagull he was holding back a snigger."
Ms Keegan is now awaiting a replacement phone.
Seagulls have been making the headlines after attacking people and killing a pet dog in England.
The incidents have prompted prime minister David Cameron to say his government should look into the problem.
Fianna Fail senator Ned O'Sullivan warned last year that the winged menaces were becoming more brazen and vicious.
Now his Seanad colleague Denis O'Donovan has called for a cull of the birds.