Villages feud over whale bones

Jan. 20, 2009 at 5:32 PM

COURTMACSHERRY, Ireland, Jan. 20 (UPI) -- Officials in two Irish villages said the local governments are feuding over the skeleton of a whale that died in a bay between the towns.

Leaders in the villages of Courtmacsherry and Kilbrittain have both drawn up plans to put the fin whale's jawbone and ribcage on display to attract tourists and serve as an educational tool, Sky News reported Tuesday.

The whale was found stranded Thursday in Courtmacsherry Bay and soon died despite rescue attempts. Kilbrittain residents retrieved the jawbones, saying the water mammal died in an area of the harbor under their village's jurisdiction. They said the bones are being kept in a "secret location."

"I would describe this as a friendly argument between the villages," said Kevin Murphy, a county council member representing Kilbrittain. "But the people of Kilbrittain have gone to a lot of trouble and expense to salvage the mammal's bone structure so I would hope that it will stay in Kilbrittain."

John Young, the chairman of Courtmacsherry Development Association, said officials in his village want to display the whale bones in its town hall.

"We don't want to fight with Kilbrittain over this, we are neighbors but let's try to come to a compromise on it," he said.

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