Fish Fall in Ireland’s West

While I was busy chasing fish in Greece, here’s one that got away…

A fish fall! A classic fortean phenomenon! In Ireland!
Well, maybe. At least no one is blaming a whirlwind… there’s a good chance the ‘osprey theory’ is correct.
More as we have it…
Western People (Ireland): Flying salmon goes through roof of Ballina house!
Wednesday, September 03, 2003
Ballina, as the salmon angling capital of the World, has had its fair share of fishy tales but none so astonishing, or unbelievable, as the true story told yesterday (Monday) by Gertie Clarke of the Piper?s Inn in Hill Street in the town.
The Clarkes were in their home at about 11.20 in the morning when they heard a loud bang. At first they thought the noise came from within the house but later discovered it was caused by ?a fair sized salmon? smashing through the roof.
Western People (Ireland): Ballina?s flying salmon caught the imagination of the country
Wednesday, September 10, 2003
The story of the Moy salmon that crashed through the roof of a house in Ballina hit the headlines all over the country, and probably further afield, as news people everywhere latched on to a story that seemed unbelievable.
The picture of Gertie Clarke with the remains of the salmon, beside the hole in the roof of her house, convinced all the doubting Thomases that the fish did crash on to the roof and actually splatter across some of it.
Here’s a photograph and quote, from The Irish Times of September 3rd:
Click for photo (48KB)

Mr Tony Murray, ranger with the National Park and Wildlife Service in north Mayo, said it was possible that the salmon dropped from the talons of an osprey, a large fish-eating bird, while in flight over the Clarkes’ house. ospreys have been recorded in increasing numbers in Ireland, mainly on the east coast, Mr Murray says.
“There’s usually a sighting on the Corrib and in and around Bangor Erris in north Mayo. I have seen them carrying fish of four to five pounds, which they partially devour before continuing on, but usually they go for a more manageable quarry of one to two pounds,” he added.

Chief Bottle Washer at Blather
Writer, photographer, environmental campaigner and "known troublemaker" Dave Walsh is the founder of, described both as "possibly the most arrogant and depraved website to be found either side of the majestic Shannon River", and "the nicest website circulating in Ireland". Half Irishman, half-bicycle. He lives in southern Irish city of Barcelona.