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33 dead whales are removed from Donegal beach

A major exercise to remove the bodies of the 33 whales washed up on a Co Donegal beach has been hailed a success.

It had been originally planned to bury the pod of pilot whales on Rutland Island off Burtonport where they beached almost two weeks ago, but local people objected to Donegal County Council’s plan, claiming health fears.

The operation began just before daybreak, when two lorries with special sealed containers, a track machine and a dumper were transported by the Arranmore Fast Ferry the short distance from Burtonport to Rutland Island.

The council was granted a licence to incinerate the whales at a facility in Co Cavan.

“It was a very well-organised and there were no hitches,” said Fast Ferry operator Seamus Boyle.

The entire disposal operation is expected to cost the local authority over €10,000 (£8.4k).

Belfast Telegraph