Charity boss Fergus Finlay given a dusting down by dolphin

One of the West’s most famous celebrities has come under fire for headbutting the chief executive of a children’s charity in his “nether regions”.

Charity boss Fergus Finlay given a dusting down by dolphin

Dusty the Dolphin, a notorious figure who resides in the waters of Clare and Galway, attacked Barnardos chief Fergus Finlay while he was on holidays in the Aran Islands last week.

Speaking on Today FM, the Irish Examiner columnist said he blamed himself for the incident and that he should have been more careful around the animal.

“I was swimming — and that’s another exaggeration, I was probably floating — in the harbour at Inisheer on the Aran Islands and there’s a dolphin in the water there called Dusty. And Dusty came over to investigate,” he said.

“Two of my grandkids and my daughter were all in the water as well, they were shallower than me, and he circled around them and was swimming and it was all really, really exciting and I thought, big eejit that I am, that if I stayed out a bit deeper I might get a chance to, quote unquote, swim with a dolphin. A nice dream come true.”

The encounter didn’t go to plan, however, and Dusty began slapping the water with her tail, attempting to signal to Fergus that she was uncomfortable.

“I saw this and I thought, ‘oh, she wants to play’. In fact what she was doing was saying ‘you, you big large white shape, get out of my space’. And I didn’t, I just kind of floated there and waited for her to come and caress me. Instead she decided to ram me,” he said.

“Now, my wife said she headbutted me but to my way of thinking a headbutt is a head-to-head contact. This was head-to-nether-region contact. She knocked me off my backside into the water and, mission accomplished, she swam away.”

While Fergus admits the encounter “frightened the life” out of him, he escaped relatively unscathed, suffering only a bit of stiffness for the following few days. Later he discovered how lucky he was to come out uninjured.

Also speaking to Anton Savage on Today FM, Valerie Ryan from Lahinch, Co Clare, said Dusty seriously injured her. “I was swimming, innocently, in the pier in Doolin two years ago thinking, like everybody else, that it was going to be a lovely, pleasant, harmless experience and unfortunately Dusty attacked me,” she said.

Valerie had to be pulled from the water and was taken to hospital having sustained multiple injuries.

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