'It's an invasion' – Drogheda locals in fear of 'intimidating' seagulls

An "invasion" of seagulls in Drogheda town has left residents "terrified" and "intimidated," acco...
Faye Curran
Faye Curran

14.58 16 Jun 2023

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'It's an invasion' – Drogheda...

'It's an invasion' – Drogheda locals in fear of 'intimidating' seagulls

Faye Curran
Faye Curran

14.58 16 Jun 2023

Share this article

An "invasion" of seagulls in Drogheda town has left residents "terrified" and "intimidated," according to one local.

Growing concerns around an ever-expanding seagull population in Drogheda, County Louth has led to the Council calling a public meeting to be held next week.


On Lunchtime Live, Frank Godfrey, a Drogheda resident, claimed "thousands" of seagulls have been "plaguing" Drogheda for years.

"Very little has been done to address the issue and I have taken it up many times at the Council level, but nothing has really been done," he said.

"People are terrified of seagulls – dirtying the streets, rooftops cars. You can imagine yourself that the droppings [are] very unsightly.

"'Gulls can be very intimidating.

"Only the other day, a man told me an ice cream was taken out of his hand while walking along the street – so, it's a big issue here."


Mr Godfrey claimed the rise in seagulls is a result of less fishing.

"There was a lot of food out there when the trawlers were out there all year round, but they're not fishing like they did in the old days," he said.

"It's only maybe for two or three months or four months of the year that they're fishing.

"So, they're all inland and it's not their territory – it's really out at sea they should be and we've got to address this issue.

"That's a matter for the government, that's not a matter for the people and for shoppers. Some of them feel intimidated by these huge big birds."

The Urban Gull Survey

Mr Godfrey said some people in Drogheda have suggested a cull of the seagulls, while others have "spiked the rooftops of their premises".

"They are very angry at this time of the year and threatening and very noisy because it's the breeding season," he said.

"Very, very dangerous and they've been known to attack people as well."

TWM6C6 Seagulls begging for food in Padstow, Cornwall.

Former Mayor of Drogheda Michelle Hall said the town has "the largest number of seagulls nesting in an urban area."

"There are around 250 nests since the Urban Gull Survey was done in 2021," she said.

"I haven't received any personal complaints about it myself, I have to say."

"There is a certain amount of just getting on with it."

'Human activity'

Cllr Hall said a littering issue in Drogheda is attracting birds to the area.

"There's a lot of human activities that are actually compounding the difficulty with the gulls as well," she said.

"They're a moderate risk, so I don't think we can cull when there's a conservation order on the gulls.

"That's not something that would be appropriate at all at this time.

"We just need to be conscious that this time of the year that gulls are nesting and they're protecting their young, but I haven't heard of too many people being attacked on the main streets."

Fisherman Joe Caulfield, from Howth, enjoys the fine weather as he throws scraps to the seagulls at the end of his day's fishing in Howth, Dublin.

Mr Godfrey rejected Cllr Hall's claim that the resident's reactions were "over the top," claiming she was perpetuating "fake news."

"The seagulls all over the town. There's an invasion, there has been over the last 10 years and we're here and nothing has been done."

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