Northern Ireland news

Donegal beach closed after huge jellyfish spotted

The huge Lion's Mane jellyfish were seen close to the beach at Shroove in County Donegal
Seamus McKinney

LIFEGUARDS were forced to close a popular Co Donegal beach after a swarm of giant jellyfish ventured too close to the shore.

The beach at Shroove in Inishowen was closed for two hours using red flags when the Lion’s Mane jellyfish were washed in on a tide close to the mouth of Lough Foyle.

The largest species of jellyfish in the world, the Lion’s Mane can grow a 'dome' of more than six foot while its tentacles can stretch up to 100 foot.

While not known to be fatal, its sting causes localised redness and the large number of tentacles can lead to stings causing intense pain in swimmers.

The Lion’s Mane uses its tentacles to capture pray which includes smaller jellyfish and other sea creatures.

While common to colder northern waters, sightings have increased substantially around Ireland, according to the National Biodiversity Data centre.

A spokeswoman for Donegal County Council said lifeguards closed the beach at Shroove, near Greencastle, for two hours on Sunday because of the proximity of the huge jellyfish to swimmers.

She said the beach was re-opened after the jellyfish washed out on the tide.

“We would like to reassure the public that the beach is safe for bathing,” she added.

There were no reports of any members of the public being injured at Shroove during the beach closure.

Shroove beach in Co Donegal. Picture by Margaret McLaughlin

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