A 20-metre fin whale which became stranded on a beach in Achill Island has died.
The whale became stranded on Keel Beach on Christmas Eve but died a few hours later, according to local RNLI officers.
It is not yet clear what condition the mammal was in prior to getting stranded.
Irish Whale and Dolphin Group chairman Willie Meuhlausen travelled to the beach yesterday to take samples including skin, blubber, muscle and baleen as well as photographs.
The group said a steady stream of people had been coming down to the beach to see the whale.
Fin whales are the second largest species of whales, eclipsed in size only by the blue whale.