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Dusty swimming by the coastline where she met Councillor Liam Grant.

WATCH: Councillor’s close encounter with Dusty the Dolphin

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County Clare’s marine mascot has been popping her head up again around the coast and has had a close encounter with a county councillor.

With calm water and sunny weather not conducive to surfing, Councillor Liam Grant, the Green Party representative, was relaxing by the sea when Dusty the Dolphin showed up.

The pair are familiar with one another as Liam told the Champion, “I’ve been swimming in the area for around 15 years and she does actually remember people, so when she recognises you she is quite chilled out.

“There were people in swimming at the weekend, though I was just sitting on the rocks myself when she swam up looking for belly rubs.

“I had my camera with me though, a go-pro, and it has this sort of reflective casing, so anything shiny like that she is intrigued by it. So when I had the camera in the water she came up looking at it.

“I’ve actually seen her steal cameras before,” said Liam, “she likes toys and things like that, so if I left the camera in the water she would have taken it. Definitely!

“She’s been here 20 years, from what I’ve been told, from White Strand to Fanore to Inis Oirr to Doolin, she bops around these areas. She hangs around one place for a while and then could sepnd a summer in Inis Oirr, who knows, she’s a wild animal.”

Dusty made the news last year interacting with divers from Burren Subaqua Club which they captured on video and her reported encounters with people in recent years have appeared mostly friendly.

Less pleasant encounters have occurred in the past however, and the advice of leading dolphin expert Dr Simon Berrow should always be heeded. That being, “if you swim with Dusty, then respect her as a wild dolphin and do not grab, lunge or chase after her”.

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