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Martin McGuinness, the 'Foyle Nessie' and me: Ivan Little on the sea monster tale that went around the world

Ivan Little reports on how he and the late Martin McGuinness lent credibility to rumours that an 'Irish Nessie' was lurking in Lough Foyle... a hoax swallowed hook, line and sinker by TV companies around the world

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A mechanical fire-breathing River Foyle monster during The Return of Colmcille event as part of UK City of Culture celebrations in 2013

A mechanical fire-breathing River Foyle monster during The Return of Colmcille event as part of UK City of Culture celebrations in 2013

A mechanical fire-breathing River Foyle monster during The Return of Colmcille event as part of UK City of Culture celebrations in 2013

Forget the Loch Ness Monster. For now it seems that Nessie has a rival lurking in the deep of Lough Foyle. Or so gullible people around the world appear to think.

And though the 'sighting' of a hulking heavyweight near Londonderry started off as a joke that even Martin McGuinness joined in, it looks as if many monster enthusiasts are still falling for the ruse hook, line and sinker.

The hoax was devised seven years ago by film students in Derry who had a whale of a time with their wind-up... which I perpetuated.