Seagulls are vicious. Having major Ornithophobia (fear of birds) might make this piece slightly biased but it has been well documented over the past few days especially that there are more and more seagull attacks happening and calls for culls have been getting more and more traction.
It has been just over a year since Senator Ned O'Sullivan brought seagulls into the political spotlight, pointing out that the nation’s Herring Gulls had “lost the run of themselves completely” and calling for government to take action on the issue but he wasn't taken seriously. But now in recent days the spotlight is once again on the greedy gulls.
The devil birds are at the height of their breeding season and are more aggressive than usual, which is saying a lot. We've all heard of a seagull stealing an ice cream straight out of a poor little child's hand last year and just the other day one stole an unsuspecting woman's phone, while she was in the middle of a phone call. That's far too close for comfort.
Meanwhile in the UK, David Cameron said that a 'big conversation' need to be started about what to do with them and isn't ruling out a cull after a Yorkshire Terrier was killed in Newquay last week.
On today's Liveline on RTÉ Radio One, seagulls were a hot topic with John Carmody from ARAN (Animal Rights Action Network) leaping to the birds' defence.
Naturally Carmody disagrees with the idea of culling the birds and said the network will oppose any plans to cull them while also calling out Senator Denis O'Donovan for raising the issue.
We (ARAN) just find it completely irresponsible and short sighted of him to come out by calling for a cull to these animals without having to look into the problem and to do a little bit more research into the problems that are being reported.
The Senator felt that he had a responsibility to raise the issue in the Seanad in a balanced way after the issue what brought to his attention and while he said that he wouldn't want the animals to be killed if another option would suffice, something has to be done as their population is increasing and they are coming inland looking for food and in turn frightening people.
One listener phoned in to say that the school his grandchild will be attending in September told the child's parents that the children couldn't eat lunch in the school yard because of seagulls trying to take the food, while another listener had her food taken and glasses tipped off her face after leaving a Marks and Spencer shop.
While Carmody made the point of putting away phones and food when on a street where seagulls are, presenter Philip Boucher Hayes made a good point that people should be able to make a phone call without fear of attack.
Carmody gave some tips to the listeners:
1. Make sure all refuse left outside is covered.
2. Don't feed the birds (obvious enough)
3. Put away your food while near the birds and move on.
Obviously no one likes the idea of killing mass numbers of birds or any animal so a suggestion to bring in birds of prey to warn them off every now and then was suggested, which would be a winner all round if it works.
For now, take advice from me, run in the opposite direction or if then come anywhere near you while walking, do your best musical statues freeze.