Although the British Isles are littered with dangerous underwater beasts, few are as frightening as the Dobhar-Chu. Known to locals as the Irish crocodile, the Dobhar-Chu’s name, when roughly translated from Gaelic, literally means “water hound.” This distinction clearly separates this beast from the more infamous KELPIES, which have terrorized the residents of the British Isles for centuries.
Described as being “half-wolfdog and half-fish” – by a Miss. L.A. Walkington in the 1896 edition of “The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland” – reports of the Dobhar-Chu (also referred to as Dhuragoo, Dorraghowor or Dobarcu) date back to at least 1684. While numerous eyewitness accounts concur with Miss. Walkington’s description of a fish-like canine, other observers claim that the creature is more otter-like in appearance, complete with a short coat of albino white hair, which makes a striking contrasted against its black ear-tips and the dark swathe across its back.
Although there has been some dispute regarding the animal’s length, it is believed to be approximately 7-feet from head to tail and, contrary to its colloquial nickname, our research team has not unearthed a single report of this creature possessing any true reptilian attributes. This would seem to indicate that the Dobhar-Chu’s designation as the “Irish crocodile” is more a reference to its speed and ferocity, then to it’s apparent genera.
Due to its canine-esque description, the Dobhar-Chu also seems removed from the various species off water-horses said to populate the British Isles. This has led some researchers to speculate that the creature may actually be an unknown form of large predatorial pinniped (seal) or rogue super-otter.
The Dobhar-Chu is also known to attack suddenly, viciously and without apparent provocation. Credited with the deaths of numerous individuals, most of the testimony regarding the Dobhar-Chu’s lethal nature has been passed on by word of mouth, but there is at least one account that was literally etched in stone; carved on a Tablet in the village of Glenade, which is situated in County Leitrim, is an account of such an attack:
“On September 27, 1722, a woman named Grace was killed by a Dobhar-chu, while washing clothes in Glenade Lake. When her husband came to find her, he found instead a Dobhar-chu sitting on her bloody clothes and mutilated body. He killed the beast, stabbing it in the heart. As it died, it made a noise like a whistle. Its supposed mate rose from the water and chased the man and his friend. They killed it before it got the chance to hurt either man.”
This chilling account is only one of many regarding this feral, amphibious beast and seems to many researchers to be an accurate description of a corporeal being, rather than a figment of the lush Gaelic imagination. Most researchers point out that the description of the creature’s “whistle,” at its moment of death – as well as its purported mate’s response – is more to akin to an eyewitness report, than that of some vague legend.