Carmel's engagement ring takes the plunge on her wedding day!

BY Jackie Keogh

‘WE had an incident,’ said Carmel O’Driscoll, who was snapped receiving a diamond ring from a man in a wetsuit outside the West Cork Hotel on Saturday. About an hour earlier, Carmel lost her engagement ring.

 

Skibbereen fireman Tom Collins (left) is thanked by bride and groom Carmel and Ray O’Driscoll after retrieving her engagement ring, which fell into the River Ilen outside the West Cork Hotel, where they were having their wedding reception last Saturday.
Skibbereen fireman Tom Collins (left) is thanked by bride and groom Carmel and Ray O’Driscoll after retrieving her engagement ring, which fell into the River Ilen outside the West Cork Hotel, where they were having their wedding reception last Saturday.
Carmel and Ray O’Driscoll, who is from Church Cross, got married without at hitch at her parish church at 1pm at St Mary’s in Leap. They enjoyed a wonderfully moving ceremony and made their way to the West Cork Hotel where they posed for a few photographs in between the sun showers.

 

But shortly before 5pm things took a slight turn for the worse when Carmel, who was standing on the old railway bridge, where she had taken off her ring to show it to a few people, felt it slip off her finger and fall through a crack.

‘I didn’t shout or scream, or cry. I actually laughed,’ she said. ‘I suppose I couldn’t believe it was happening and I didn’t want to spoil things for my friends and family who were all around me. Beside, I thought we’d get it later.

 ‘But Ray, my cousin’s husband Mark Limrick and few other male guests who were standing nearby quickly sprang into action and tweaked the concrete a little to try and reach the ring.

‘We could see it clearly, but it was wedged in the ground. At one stage, it seemed like they had worked a piece of the plaster loose, but to everyone’s horror it fell into the river.

‘Mark ran into the hall and called on a guest at the wedding, Tom Collins, a volunteer fireman, and he went over to the fire station – which is just a stone’s throw from the hotel – and he came back in his wetsuit and rowed to the spot where the ring had fallen in.

‘I remember him standing up in the river saying, “I have it.” I have to say I felt extremely relieved. So was Ray, for my sake. By that time I wasn’t relishing the idea of facing into the rest of my life with the story that I had lost my engagement ring on my first day of married life hanging over me.

‘As it turned out, the drama added to the sense of occasion and everyone was really helpful including the staff at the hotel. The way I look at it now is this: it is a lucky ring. I got it back.’

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