10 places to watch out for jellyfish in Ireland

If you are looking for a dip around the coasts of Ireland in the warmer months, have a read of our top ten places to watch out for jellyfish in Ireland.

The summer of 2021 saw a dramatic rise in the number of jellyfish around the coasts of the Emerald Isle. With the warmer weather now reapproaching us in 2022, there is potential that the explosion in numbers may return.

Recently, the Irish Examiner reported on sightings of jellyfish in County Cork, and the HSE notes that there are five native jellyfish in Ireland: Barrel, Blue, Common (Moon), Compass, and Lion’s Man.

With the summer approaching and swimming weather not too far away, read below on the top ten places to watch out for jellyfish in Ireland, based on sightings from last year.

10. Shannon Estuary as far as Glin Pier, Co. Limerick – swimming places unheard of before

In tenth place on our list of places to watch out for jellyfish in Ireland is the Shannon Estuary.
Credit: Ireland’s Content Pool

According to the Irish Examiner, you may not have thought of this one off the top of your head, but jellyfish were found in the River Shannon last year.

Indeed, John Leech, CEO of Irish Water Safety, said, “A lion’s mane jellyfish went up the Shannon estuary as far as Glin Pier in Limerick – that is unheard of. Nobody has ever seen a lion’s man in Limerick before….”

Address: Killacolla (Barker), Glin, Co. Limerick, Ireland

9. West Donegal, Co. Donegal – along the Wild Atlantic Way

In ninth place on our list of places to watch out for jellyfish in Ireland is West Donegal.
Credit: Ireland’s Content Pool

There were jellyfish sightings in their droves along the west coast of Donegal last year, in the likes of Dunfanaghy and Gweedore.

Meanwhile, the venomous Lion’s Mane was spotted at the famous Magheroarty Beach.

Address: Unnamed Road, Co. Donegal, Ireland  

8. Skellig Michael, Co. Kerry – one of the most interesting places to watch out for jellyfish in Ireland

In eighth place on our list of places to watch out for jellyfish in Ireland is Skellig Michael.
Credit: Fáilte Ireland

There have been reported sightings of jellyfish in the waters circulating Skellig Michael on the Kerry coast, making it one of the more interesting and remote places to watch out for jellyfish in Ireland.

Address: Skellig Rock Great, Ireland

7. Ballybunion Beach, Co. Kerry – caused difficulty on the Kerry coast before

In seventh place on our list of places to watch out for jellyfish in Ireland is Ballybunion Beach.
Credit: Ireland’s Content Pool

Much similar to Rossbeigh Strand, further down this list, it was reported that there were several washed-up jellyfish on Ballybunnion Beach.

At the same time, swimmers were told to avoid this beach back in 2016 due to the volume of jellyfish.

Address: Co. Kerry, Ireland

6. Portmarnock Beach, Co. Dublin – Lion’s Mane nearby

In sixth place on our list of places to watch out for jellyfish in Ireland is Portmarnock Beach.
Credit: Flickr / Tolka Rover

The first from Dublin on our list of places to watch out for jellyfish in Ireland is Portmarnock Beach.

It was reported back in August 2020 that “massive” Lion’s Mane jellyfish were found at Portmarnock Beach. The Lion’s Mane is one of the world’s largest species of jellyfish.

Address: Co. Dublin, Ireland

5. Sandycove Beach, Co. Dublin another Dublin entry

In fifth place on our list of places to watch out for jellyfish in Ireland is Sandycove beach.
Credit: Ireland’s Content Pool

Like last summer, the Lion’s Mane jellyfish was spotted in Sandycove waters back in 2019, so they will likely reappear again this year.

Keep an eye out if you plan to swim at Sandycove Beach in the coming months.

Address: Sandycove, Co. Dublin, Ireland

4. Cobh Harbour, Co. Cork – an invasion of this iconic coastal town

In fourth place on our list of places to watch out for jellyfish in Ireland is Cobh Harbour.
Credit: Ireland’s Content Pool

The Irish Examiner reported that thousands of jellyfish had arrived at the coastal town of Cobh last year, much to the surprise of locals.

Social media posts evidence thousands of the creatures occupying the Cork waters.

Address: Rae an Chalaidh, Kilgarvan, Cobh, Co.Cork, Ireland

3. Rosslare, Co. Wexford – for blooms of Barrel jellyfish

In third place on our list of places to watch out for jellyfish in Ireland is Rosslare.
Credit: Ireland’s Content Pool

Next on our list of places to watch out for jellyfish in Ireland is Rosslare in County Wexford.

Rosslare was deemed a jellyfish hotspot in 2015, while Barrel jellyfish form enormous blooms each year in Rosslare.

Address: Co. Wexford, Ireland

2. Salthill, Co. Galway – keeping the promenade closed  

In second place on our list of places to watch out for jellyfish in Ireland is Salthill in Galway.
Credit: Fáilte Ireland

Back in 2020, the popular Salthill beach just outside of Galway city was forced to close due to an invasion of the Lion’s Mane jellyfish.

Previously, there was an uptake in reports of stings from jellyfish back in 2018.

Address: Bóthar na Trá, Co. Galway, Ireland

1. Rossbeigh Strand, Co. Kerry – keep vigilant along the Dingle Peninsula

Coming in first place on our list of places to watch out for jellyfish in Ireland is the Rossbeigh Strand in Kerry.
Credit: commons.wikimedia.org

Last summer, beachgoers to County Kerry and the Dingle Peninsula were urged to take care and act with caution as there were reports of many jellyfish in the waters.

At this time, a vast amount was said to have washed up on Rossbeigh Strand.

Address: Co. Kerry, Ireland

While some jellyfish don’t pose a threat, some can be more dangerous, such as the Lion’s Man of the Portuguese Man o’ War. For more information, read here.

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