PERSISTENCE has paid off for Clonakilty hotelier, Dena O’Donovan, who recovered two kayaks that were stolen from Inchydoney.
But this is not the first time that Dena was able to track down stolen goods. Last year, a Dutch tourist who stole a coat in the hotel, was brought to book with the help of Dena’s contacts on social media.
With no fewer than 14 Facebook pages to manage for her business and leisure activities – including horse-riding, hill-walking and kayaking – Dena has 35,000 followers and friends.
When, on August 2nd last, she discovered the locks on her two kayaks at Inchydoney beach had been broken, she immediately got the word out on Facebook.
But even that wasn’t enough for determined Dena. Knowing the power of word-of-mouth, she also put up posters in Clonakilty and Bandon, as well as places where water sports enthusiasts congregate. Then, two weeks ago, a woman who had, a couple of days before, handed over €300 for two second-hand kayaks to a stranger at Garretstown beach, saw one of the posters.
Dena said: ‘She was very honest. She realised there was a possibility that they could have been stolen because of the dubious circumstances in which she bought them, and she got in contact with me.’
At first, Dena didn’t recognise the kayaks because they had been stripped down and spray-painted, but on closer inspection, she realised they were indeed hers.
The woman now stands to lose that money, but kind-hearted Dena has allowed her, and her children, the use of the kayaks for the rest of the summer.
The gardaí have been actively involved in the investigation and Dena said they confirmed that a lot of items have been stolen from the very start of the season, ‘so people need to be very careful about what they are buying.’