Seal Rescue Ireland

Our Journey

Seal lovers, your support drives remarkable achievements in conservation. Together, we create a positive impact for marine life preservation.

Our Journey

  • 2010

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    June

    The organisation is originally established as Dingle Wildlife and Seal Sanctuary in Co Kerry, with a mission to rescue, rehabilitate and release sick, injured and orphaned seals in the South-West counties of Ireland. Founding members build the sanctuary with personal savings.


  • 2011

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    January

    The only other seal rehabilitation facility in Ireland shuts down, leaving DWSS to single handedly cover the whole Republic of Ireland coastline.

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    May

    Rescue Volunteer Network is formed and volunteer training begins.


  • 2012

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    December

    DWSS nearly closes due to financial challenges, but soldiers on for the sake of the seals. The small team contributes personal savings to cover bills and fish costs.


  • 2014

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    January

    Storm Darwin destroys the facility in Dingle beyond repair with 30+ seals in care. DWSS volunteers are able to raise enough funds to relocate.

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    February

    Seal Rescue Ireland is born at a new facility in Courtown, Co. Wexford, with a sharper focus on protecting, rescuing and rehabilitating seals.

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    May

    The Seal Rescue Ireland internship program is launched to offer opportunities to people from
    home and abroad to take part in extended
    work experience.


  • 2015

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    December

    Seal Rescue Ireland receives charity status
    (CHY 21315)


  • 2016

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    January

    The centre grows, with new programs such as guided tours of the facility, a growing gift shop, attendance at public events country wide, beach cleans, Kennel Sponsorships and Corporate Volunteering.


  • 2017

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    October

    Hurricane Ophelia devastates Ireland’s Grey Seal pupping season. Seal Rescue Ireland receives 300 rescue calls in under one week and reaches capacity for the first time, unable to accept any more seals.


  • 2018

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    September

    Seal Rescue Ireland brings the Ecobrick programme to Ireland in an effort to raise awareness against plastic pollution.


  • 2019

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    January

    Seal Rescue Ireland begins a Watershed Restoration project, planting native trees to help restore Ireland’s forests and rebuild crucial Riverbeds.

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    October

    Seal Rescue Ireland works with Wicklow Co. Council to establish a protected seal haul-out site at Brides Head Beach along the Wicklow coastline


  • 2020

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    January

    Seal Rescue Ireland launches new website and new interactive membership platform.

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    March

    Covid-19 forces Seal Rescue Ireland to close its Visitor Centre to the public and cancel all public events indefinitely. As essential work, seal rescue, rehab
    and release continues behind closed doors.

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    June

    Seal Rescue Ireland reopens for private tours so supporters can meet the seals in a safe environment during Covid 19! The first Seal feed and Enrichment Experiences take place limited to six participants on one of four tours per day.

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    December

    Seal Rescue Ireland launches Virtual Seal Rescue Network Training Courses over zoom so volunteers can join our rescue network without having to go to the visitor centre in person.


  • 2021

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    March

    Seal Rescue Ireland launches Virtual Seal Feed and Enrichment Experiences over Zoom. Supporters can now still meet the seal pups up close while our centre remains closed and get a behind-the-scenes live stream tour from the comfort of their own homes.

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    May

    Restrictions begin to ease and Seal Rescue Ireland’s in-person Seal Feed and Enrichment Experiences recommence.

But this is not enough.

Ireland’s seals are ambassadors for a sustainable and bright future for all of us sharing this planet together. Our vision is for a world where the seals dont need our help, with everyone looking out for the best interests of local wildlife and a flourishing environment. With a legacy gift in your Will, you can help make this dream a reality.

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