Blessing the Fungie dolphin

I am waiting to take a boat and see how Mon Padraig O’Fiannachta blesses Fungie for living 30 years in the Dingle Harbour (County Kerry, Ireland). People say Fungie “has made Dingle” as it’s their main tourist attraction. He swims next to tourist boats and has jumped over them several times (unless Dingle people love to create legends using Photoshop).

They say the dolphin is old now and doesn’t do this anymore. Other people conspire by saying that they have replaced Fungie by a younger trained dolphin. Very likely.

There is a smelly dog next to me, trembling. Does he want to see Fungie too? His owner looks like an old sailor. There are families with excited kids and a blog writer who seems to be a real character. Two little girls are touching the smelly dog now and everybody is smiling at them and roaring “ooooh” as if it was the cutest thing they’ve seen, seemingly unaware of the smell.

Kerry is stunning this weekend. It’s not raining so you can appreciate the beauty of the landscape. Yellow flowers have come out and the sun makes the colorful houses look brighter.


Mon Padraig O’Fiannachta has just arrived. He’s quite old and can’t walk properly. He wears the typical green woollen Irish hat despite of the good weather. Irish people really like these hats.

Finally, we’re in the boat.  I get to go in the premium one. The blessing is going to take place from here and it is full of journalists, artists and well-known locals.

After 15-20 minutes we see a dolphin that’s supposed to be Fungie. How do you know that one is Fungie? I ask a journalist. “Oh, he has a special smile. You can’t go wrong with that smile”, she says.

Right. A special smile.

People crazily wave and cheer at him, and the priest gets ready for the blessing.

I don’t see any smile, but the dolphin does get very close to the smaller boats, to the point where a swimmer sat on small wooden boat kisses the dolphin. Impressive!

The priest immerses a branch with flowers into a plastic bucket full of holy water and shakes them later, sparing holy drops on the ocean. “Dear Lord, thank you for send us Fungie. Lord, bless Fungi and keep him happy with us. Keep him safe for at least as long as I have been alive”, he says.

I don’t think dolphins live that long.

His words rumble in the ocean thanks to a loud speaker. He goes on and on. “Fungie loves Dingle people and he’s special for the ladies. It is scientifically proved he has lipstick on his cheeks…”, he says.

The blessing is going in a strange direction.

“It would be nice to have young Fungies…”, he suggests to God.

At this point nobody knows if this is a sacred act or if everyone was at the pub before and they’ve come here to continue the party.



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Olga Rodríguez

Blog. Análisis y opinión

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— thoughts & dreams by elma

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