Despite sound-bites from the government to quell fears of a new breed of testicle-eating trouts and eels stalking Lough Neagh, swimmers and bathers along the western coastline of the lough confirmed they are still a real threat, and may be getting hungrier.
Two male swimmers from Derrylaughan, who every Saturday morning religiously partake in a short swim out to Coney Island and back to shake off hangovers, reported three attacks from three different breeds of fish during their 30-minute paddle. Kevin Barry, a 28-year old fencer, told us:
“I think that’ll be the last time I go for a dip in the lough until the problem is sorted. There’s no enjoyment when you’re constantly worried you’ll return to shore with mutilated knackers. I’ve never seen eels behave like that before, and I know my eels.”
Sunbather Harry Quinn (58) from Moortown was astonished at the attack he experienced whilst laying on a towel on the beach at the Battery. Wearing a tight-fitting pair of Moortown St Malachy’s shorts from his playing days in the early 80s, Quinn had to retreat to the pub after an unprovoked assault on Saturday:
“Ghost oh, I was just nodding off on the towel and before I know it a couple of Dollaghan were yanking the shorts off me and them 10 feet out of water. I barely managed to bate them off with a rolled up Irish News but not before on of the trout took a nick from one of my yokes.”
Local scientist Paddy Hughes maintains the new culinary tastes are a result of “global warming or the solar rays or something like that” and has warned male swimmers and fishermen to wear body armour or metal trunks for a few years “until the fish move on to China or somewhere like that”.