Senator demands clampdown on 'unruly' seagulls
A FIANNA Fail senator has raised eyebrows with an appeal to control unruly seagulls in the capital.
Senator Ned O'Sullivan took to the Seanad floor to claim that "cheeky" seagulls have attacked children and kept Dublin residents awake at night.
And he demanded action from new minister Alan Kelly.
Mr O'Sullivan said that the birds have "lost the run of themselves" and are becoming a threat to public safety.
"They're very raucous. They're keeping people awake. I saw that they're getting so cheeky now that they attack young children and dispossess them of their lollipops and stuff like that," he said.
"It might be funny to many people, but it's a serious issue in the city. They're not seagulls, they really are vermin. They're scavenger gulls, dump gulls."
The Kerry-based senator said he has "nothing against pigeons" but added that he is "very much against seagulls".
"I think something needs to be done to address the seagull problem here in this city," he said.
In response to laughter from some of his Seanad colleagues, Mr O'Sullivan replied: "It's the last day, so give me wings."
And he said he now believes the seagull problem should be addressed by Environment Minister Alan Kelly.
A spokesperson for the minister last night said that any proposals to deal with the problem sent in by Mr O'Sullivan will be examined.
Mr O'Sullivan said last night that he would like to see an extension to the Dublin City Council pest control scheme to incorporate seagulls.
The Herald took to the streets to get the public's opinion on the issue of aggressive seagulls.
Linda Tyrrell, from Templeogue, said: "Sometimes you'd notice that there's a good few seagulls around. One flew at me the other day and gave me a bit of a fright - but it's not something that you'd put on your list of issues really."
"I have no beef with seagull. I'm pro-seagull, always have been," joked Fergal Mullins (25), from Ringsend.
Enda Jordan (25), also from Ringsend, said: "I'd rather see seagulls being discussed as opposed to Garth Brooks."
Evanne McCarthy (36), from Dundrum, thought it was indicative of the silly season in politics: "They should be focusing on more serious issues but it's silly season isn't it?"