Monday, 16 May 2016

A Monster in Meath?

In November 1937, a very strange creature came to the townland of Brownstown, County Meath. Weighing in at 80 pounds, it had very short legs, a low broad body, a “flat, repulsive looking head,” creamy coloured fur and a “fishy tail” – which stood straight out.
The creature was causing a “considerable amount of uneasiness” amongst the human population. The dogs, however, must have been terrified. A Pomeranian and a Collie had been killed, the latter due to wounds to its throat.
Despite the widespread belief that the creature had made its home in a nearby fox covert, the “parties of young men” who were searching for it at night had little luck in finding it.
But what was it they were looking for? The community was split on this: some thought it was the product of an “unsuitable union between a fox and a Sealyham,” while others believed it was just an albino Alsatian, “starved for a little human sympathy, and food.”
The Times was unimpressed with these options, and despaired at the lack of imagination in Meath. “Nobody will allow the arrival of an animal from the stars … In these days, when the world lives by the assistance of machines, the world has not the elasticity of mind to receive a creamy coloured, squat, heavy animal, with the tail of a fish and the expression of an all-in wrestler. To the world’s knowledge there is no such thing – and that is that.”
The Irish Times, 13 & 15 November 1937

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