Mary Kate hails from the town of Gorey, in north County Wexford. She holds a life-long passion for marine life, which was nurtured from numerous summers spent exploring the rockpools, caves and surrounding waters of Sherkin Island, Co. Cork. Mary Kate completed her Bachelor degree in Zoology at University College Cork. Her thesis focused on bottlenose dolphins in Galicia, Spain. Having completed her Masters in Marine Biology, she travelled to Shark Bay in Australia to assist in the study of bottlenose dolphins there. From 2016 onward, Mary Kate spent her summers as a Dolphinwatch crew member. She fell in love with Carrigaholt people, the entire Loop Head area, and most importantly, the bottlenose dolphins of the Shannon Estuary! She became the longest running crew member and unsurprisingly decided to settle in Carrigaholt permanently.
Dolphinwatch was created in 1992 by Geoff & Susanne Magee, who have lived, worked, and raised their family (and many animals!) on the Loop Head Peninsula since 1982. For 27 years they enlightened happy customers to the unique and amazing Mouth of the Shannon with its resident group of bottlenose dolphins, thousands of nesting pelagic seabirds, seals, fascinating geology, cliffs and caves of the Loop Head Peninsula and North Kerry. Their passion and expertise led to Dolphinwatch becoming a key destination for countless tourists embarking on an adventure along the Wild Atlantic Way. To have Mary Kate, someone who shares their love and enthusiasm for this business, take on the skipper role is a dream come true!
Mary Kate is your Skipper & Guide, providing a fascinating live commentary during the trip. Mary Kate has spent the last 5 years on the Shannon Estuary, getting to know the dolphins. She now knows many by “name”. She has studied bottlenose dolphins in many parts of the world, gaining an elite level of expertise. She will always have a fun fact, or anecdote to hand about these amazing creatures.
Our crew are always available to answer any questions you might have while ensuring your safety, comfort and enjoyment. Their enthusiasm for their job is infectious, and their wonderment for the Shannon dolphins remains each time there is a sighting!
Carrigaholt, the picturesque townland at the Mouth of the Shannon, has excellent vantage points to watch the dolphins from land and to keep a watchful eye on the sea conditions.
Dolphinwatch holds a Gold Certificate from Ecotourism Ireland.
The Photography We would like to take the opportunity to thank Brian Doyle of Loop Head Studios and other talented wildlife photographers that have allowed us to use their images for this website. Especially, Richard Creagh. We were fortunate to have Richard crew with us for three years. During that time he used his photographic skills to capture so much of the wildlife that we see on our trips (while crewing!). Thank you also to the IWDG researchers (too many to mention individually) that utilise our trips as platforms of opportunity for their important photo ID work and who share with us some of their lovely wildlife images.