Pic courtesy Irish Whale and Dolphin Group

Kevin Costner causing a stir on the River Boyne

Louise Walsh

The bottlenose dolphin who has become a celebrity in the River Boyne since appearing in the water on Thursday really is a star - and his name is Kevin Costner!

The male dolphin, who has been causing a stir in the waterways of Drogheda, Co. Louth has been identified by the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group as an adult male whose home has been in the Shannon Estuary in Co. Clare since he was first spotted 28 years ago in 1993.

Kevin has been monitored closely since then in the Shannon and was named after the actor in that year's smash hit film - The Bodyguard - because of his protection of the females in the group.

Sightings officer Padraig Whooley said that they were able to identify Kevin because of his dorsal fin.

The other Kevin Costner

"Members of the public were good enough to send us in pictures which we were able to identify as a male bottlenose dolphin," he said.

"Not only that but we were able to tell that he is Kevin who my colleagues have been monitoring since he first popped up in the Shannon Estuary as an adult at that stage in West Clare in 1993.

"He has been seen on numerous occasions since then and indeed last year when he was last documented in the Shannon in late August.

"He was called Kevin Costner because he was always protecting the female dolphins like the Bodyguard.

Markings.... Pic courtesy Irish Whale & Dolphin Group

"We identified him because of the notches on the edges of his dorsal fin - which are unique to every dolphin

"It is unusual for a dolphin to travel so far to the opposite end of the country and to travel so far up the river but because he is comfortable in the Shannon Estuary, he is not bothered obviously by the confines of the river.

"We would have been happier if he was gone on Friday morning but he is still there.

However people should continue to report sightings to the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group, he told LMFM's Late Lunch programme

"He seems to be feeding fine and seems to be happy so I don't think there is any need for alarm but we would urge the public to continue reporting sightings of Kevin to iwdg. ie so we can monitor his progress."