Among the tourists was Hilary Taylor who had come to
Dingle from Bath, England. She had lost her son eight months ago and had now
come to Dingle, broken and dejected. One morning, Hilary walked along the
beach. Recalling her son's death, she looked across the water and cried out,
`I love you!' Just at that moment, Fungie appeared and swam towards her. He
stopped and his head bobbed out of the water just ten feet from where Hilary
was. Fungie appeared to have heard her cry and for the first time since her
son's death, Hilary felt happy.
Hilary swam with Fungie everyday for a week. Fungie allowed her to touch
him. His gentle and loving attentiveness helped Hilary to overcome her
inconsolable grief. He became part of her healing, for the love that he gave
her filled the gaping hole that Ian's death had left in her heart.
When Dingle's harbor had to be deepened using dynamite the local people
were concerned about the harm the explosives would do to Fungie. The
dolphin's sonar could be damaged by shock waves from the dynamite blasts and
could even kill it. After knowing that shock waves can only travel in a
straight line, members of the local diving club came up with a plan to
On the morning the dynamite blasts were to take place, the divers drove
their motorboat out to sea, taking Fungie with them. They turned around some
rocky cliffs where Fungie was soon leaping about playfully, unaware that he
was protected from the dangerous shock waves.
'We've got Fungie here', one of the divers, O'Connor, informed the blasters.
They then jumped into the water to keep the dolphin occupied. They scratched
his belly and playfully swam with him while the dynamite was set off. They
would be with the dolphin until the blasting was over for the day. This went
on for three weeks.
Today, Fungie brings cheer to the locals and to people from all over the
world. British poet, Heathcote Williams, found the experience of swimming
with Fungie so moving that it inspired him to write a poem. Indian author,
Vikram Seth after swimming with Fungie, dedicated the libretto for an opera
to Fungie. Fungie's healing presence was most felt in 1996 when he was
visited by five-year-old Hughie Hamilton who had cerebral palsy and could
not stand on his own. He could only walk with the help of a walker. In
August that year, Hughie's parents watched him floating face down, holding
his breath. Suddenly the dolphin swum beneath him. Hughie froze. After
staring into Fungie's eyes for several seconds, Hughie raised his head,
coughing and sputtering. Then a broad smile appeared on his face.
Two weeks later, Hughie was back home and seemed to be able to concentrate
and relax better. Both his parents have noticed a kind of ease and a new
optimism in him since he swam with Fungie.
Begin your summary as follows: Fungie has helped, helped and inspired
many visitors who have ...