Barry Mescall reporting for RTÉ at Baltimore Harbour, the whale can be seen in the water in the background. Pic: Perry O’Donovan / West Cork Times

THE spotlight of national attention is firmly focussed on the pretty fishing village of Baltimore where a giant Fin Whale has become trapped within the harbour walls.

The 18-metre leviathan is resting directly next to the west harbour wall after making its way into the harbour at around 8am this morning.

A large crowd of more than 300 onlookers as well as the local and national media have gathered in and around the harbour trying to catch a glimpse of one of nature’s giants.

According to experts from the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group, the animal appears emaciated and is very unlikely to move from its current location.

Fin Whales are the second largest of whale species after the Blue Whale and can grow up to 25 metres in length.

The animal, believed to be a young male appears to be in distress.

All boats are being kept out of the harbour so as not to distress the whale any further.

Kieran Cotter of the Baltimore Lifeboat said the whale seemed determined stay put despite the rising tide.

Some local boats had tried to herd the animal out to sea this morning but it seems determined to make it to the shore.

Another undernourished Fin Whale died on a beach in Cornwall yesterday despite efforts by locals to return the animal to the ocean.

Mr Cotter said that in the event of the animal dying the plan was to tow its carcass out to sea.

Video by Stuart Musgrave via