Gull Cull

seagull3 pg 29

Aside from rats and things that can eat you, seagulls are close to the top of the list of universally despised creatures. As anyone in the city – but particularly those in Dublin 4 – will agree, they are pests, noisy, aggressive pests.

Last year the problem came to a slightly hysterical head when Fianna Fáil Senator Ned O’Sullivan famously stated that “Seagulls have lost the run of themselves completely.” He also called on the Environment Minister to take action to tackle the issue. The Senator also pointed out that the gulls are so noisy in some areas that people have their sleep interrupted.

He also had some observations of his own, saying, “I saw that they’re getting so cheeky now that they attack young children and dispossess them of their lollipops and stuff like that.”

Now the wheels of Government are starting to slowly turn in the direction of the gulls, the Department of Health has announced that it is seeking tenders from pest control companies to address a serious problem on the roof of their headquarters at Hawkins House Dublin 2.

A department spokesman spoke about their plight: “The seagull problem here in Hawkins House has become worse over the last number of years. We’re not sure whether it’s due to an increase in the seagull population, or the fact that other businesses in the area have installed pest control measures. If that’s the case then seagulls are seeking out the nearest unprotected areas to nest, and that’s our building.”

What harm could they do up on the roof, you might ask. Quite a lot it seems, as he went on to explain. “Once they’ve nested, access to the roof is limited because of the risk of attacks on maintenance crews who require access on a regular basis. Like any bird, if you start to disturb them when they nest, they’ll attack.”

The advertisement for the tender states the need for, “a professional pest control company to provide a suitable deterrent system or process to eliminate the presence of birds and sea gulls from the roof areas.”

It is unclear whether measures will be rolled out to tackle the problem city-wide. Many large cities around the world have systems in place to keep them from nesting in built-up areas. Here’s hoping Dublin can follow suit.

By Steve Kingston