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birdemic Public demand action against seagulls after child attacked and cars 'destroyed'

In one incident, a four-year-old child ended up bleeding after being pecked on the face by a gull in St Stephen’s Green

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The council has received multiple complaints from residents about aggressive seagulls

The council has received multiple complaints from residents about aggressive seagulls

The council has received multiple complaints from residents about aggressive seagulls

A cacophony of squawks, an aggressive gull trying to peck its way through a Velux window and a four-year-old child nipped on the face by a bird were among the complaints made to a local authority about the scourge of seagulls.

Dublin City Council received multiple complaints from residents amid controversial calls for a cull of seagulls in the city earlier this year.

However, the local authority told those complaining there was very little that could be done except grin and bear it, as many of the birds were protected species and others were migratory and would soon be gone.

In one incident, a four-year-old child ended up bleeding after being pecked on the face by a gull in St Stephen’s Green.

An email to the city council said: “She [my daughter] was in the buggy right in front of me at the time with a rice cake in her hand. I just wanted to report it as it was obviously quite traumatic.”

The parent asked if anything could be done to tackle seagulls “taking over the park”, but was told it was a matter for the Office of Public Works, which maintains St Stephen’s Green.

In another email sent to the council, a homeowner wrote about what they described as a “serious problem” with seagulls.

The email read: “Last Saturday, a seagull tried to enter my home through a Velux window. It absolutely terrified me while asleep in bed at 4am. It almost broke the glass and was highly aggressive.”

The complainant said seagulls continuously nested in the chimney of the house next door, and that putting up spikes had done nothing to deter them.

“The roof and cars are regularly destroyed with their excretion,” the email added.

“My neighbours have had bad experiences where they cannot leave their children in the garden in fear that a seagull will attack for their ice creams and have done so on many occasions.”

In response, Dublin City Council said that while it understood the frustration, it could not interfere with nesting birds under the EU Birds Directive.

It said if gulls were pecked windows, it could be they were seeing their own reflection.

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The city council’s biodiversity officer Lorraine Bull said: “I put up sheets of paper inside the window to prevent the reflection, which worked.”

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