ONE of several balloons released by Dunmanway Chamber of Commerce last Christmas as part of a remembrance service, amazingly, found its way 2,500km to Norway six months later.
Norwegian Linda Taule from the little municipality of Nanustdal outside Bergen found the balloon last week when she was out hiking with her son near their home and she rang the number contained in a message in the balloon.
‘Linda rang Catherine, who owns the Boys to Men hair salon in Dunmanway to tell her she found the balloon and we couldn’t believe it had travelled so far. When we released them we didn’t even thing they would reach Skibbereen not to mind 2,500km away in Norway,’ said Deirdre Kelly of Dunmanway Chamber of Commerce.
The balloon, which Linda found contained a note offering the recipient a host of prizes, including accommodation, meals, hair and beauty treatments and local produce from businesses in Dunmanway.
‘Linda, who has a family of five isn’t sure when they can claim the prizes, but she said she would love to come back to Ireland as she had previously visited Ireland with her husband. She described the balloon as an “airborne bottle mail” and said it is a “great excuse” to come visit Ireland again.’
Now that the balloon has been located, Deirdre and her members are hoping that other businesses in West Cork could add to the prize pool and they are even hoping that an airline could contribute to the flights for the Taule family.
‘We would love to make the most of it and promote Dunmanway and West Cork, while at the same time making this a trip of a lifetime for Linda and her family. We feel that this is unique scenario and deserves an extra push.
‘We have already asked businesses across the region to add to the prize pool and The Southern Bar in Dunmanway has already offered accommodation to Linda and her family, as well as the owners of Drimoleague Pod Park and The Lagoon Activity Centre in Rosscarbery who have also come on board.’
If you would like to add to the prize for Linda and her family, contact Deirdre Kelly of Dunmanway Chamber of Commerce on 087-9724023.