Wildlife experts are warning members of the public not to feed seagulls amid claims they are becoming more aggressive.
Fianna Fáil local election candidate Niall Keady claims parents in north Dublin are afraid to let children play outside in case they are attacked by the birds.
There are now around 5,000 breeding gull pairs in North Fingal and there have been calls for the population to be culled.
Birdwatch Ireland has warned that the birds are protected as an endangered species.
Spokesperson Niall Hatch said the issue is that the birds learned to associate humans with food and this is causing problems.
“It really does come down to behaviour, not just of the gulls but of people,” he said.
“What has happened is that some of these gulls have learned to associate human beings with food and that is a problem.
“It is not good when these birds learn to associate people with food and expect to be fed.
“We really do advise people not to feed these gulls.”
The breeding birds are expected to produce around 20,000 chicks by early summer.
The DSPCA has previously warned that the best way to deal with overly-brave birds is to clean up food and litter on the streets and to scare them off when they approach.
Mr Hatch said there are a number of ways to ensure they do not become too much of an annoyance for Dublin residents.
“We do have to recognise that this is a species on the red list,” he said.
“In terms of solutions to the problem, waste management and not feeding the gulls and not leaving food around will certainly make a difference.
“Another thing that will make a difference is eradicating non-native rats and mink and preventing human disturbance on the islands around the north Dublin coast so that these gulls will be able to live a more natural life.”
Mr Keady said are rampaging around areas of North County Dublin.
“Grandparents and parents are afraid to let their children in the back garden because they will swoop down,” he said.
“There is a huge amount of damage being done to roofs and so on because what they do is they store food and they tuck food into crevices in roofs and so on, which causes damage and can allow water ingress into the houses.
“But these people are really, really afraid and are taking it very, very seriously.
“It is causing a major problem to them.”