'Overwhelming' mystery stench in West Kerry to be investigated

By Fiona Frawley

October 3, 2022 at 10:56am


Local councillors are working to determine the origin of a mystery stench in Waterville, Co Kerry.

According to RTÉ News, it is believed that the "pungent gaseous smell" could be related to seaweed trapped in 60 year old rock armour on the main waterfront of the village, near the Charlie Chaplin statue.

Chaplin was a frequent visitor to Waterville, bringing his family to the seaside village on holidays every year for over ten years beginning in 1959.

The smell, which has been described as "foul and obnoxious" has been discussed at council meetings but as this part of the beach is a Special Area of Conservation, there's a reluctance to bring in heavy machinery to clear the offending seaweed.

Local Fianna Fáil councillor Norma Moriarty has said the smell is impacting businesses in the area.

In response, Kerry County Council said Irish Water are compiling a report, having carried out a water quality investigation in the area.


The council says no issue has been identified from investigations of the sewer network undertaken by the council’s Water Services Department, Radio Kerry reports.

Cllr Moriarty has said there's "a potential for passing the buck" between Irish Water and the council on the issue.

While it is not conclusive that seaweed is causing the smell, the lower section near the village is where the seaweed is being trapped, Cllr Moriarty added.

While authorities believe it is possible that the decomposition of seaweed in the recent warm and dry weather conditions could be the culprit, they are hesitant to send in machines.

Sending in machines to the highly protected area would be ""no simple matter", and special authorisation would be needed.


Header image via Shutterstock

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