A large sperm whale was washed up on a Carrickfinn strand in 1992. It drew a great deal of interest with people who came to see it from many parts of the County and beyond.

Local composer Johnny Forker wrote the following lines.


The Dark Stranger

It was early in the morning I walked round the shore

From the Strand End to Ranamart on to the Parland Hole

I walked another hundred yards perhaps a little more

And behold at the beach a whale lay on the shore

Sperm Whale laying close to Trá na Stacan, Carrickfinn in 1992 ( his tail to the left of the photo)

I stood and looked in wonder, I thought it was a dream

And then I thought it was a German submarine

I felt a little lonely as I was on my own

As that is the time that spirits walk between the dark and dawn


I wished I stayed at home and lay upon my bed

Instead of running around the shore meeting the living and the dead

I often think of the gambler who is always out for more

No man has ever made his fortune running round the shore


I went home and drank a good strong cup of brandy and tea

I phoned up the Sergeant and he told me to call Lifford 2103

The Council called up Hanlon and his gang from Calhame

And sent them down with picks and shovels and fifty yards of chain


The shovels they got broken, the chains blistered a few hands

But the whale it never moved not an inch upon the strand

Stand back says Peter Hudie and leave the job to me

And I will land Sambo on the beach with my JCB

I’ll gut him and skin him and take his teeth for sure

His ribs will be a great attraction

We will send them to the museums on tour


The children had a field day, they came from near and far

From sweet Mayo to Dungloe, from Wexford to Kilcar

Some came in raincoats and wellies, some in fancy suits with big cigars

The Airport bar was crowded from dark until the dawn

It was two weeks or more before they all had gone


They said he was a stranger who came from a foreign shore

In search of a lone female but he will search no more

He meet his death such a lonely death, It makes my heart so sore

To think of him coming to die where no whale ever came before

Composed by Johnny Forker in 1992