DECLAN Goode isn’t complaining now that he has two wedding rings, after being re-united with one ring that he lost at The Warren Beach in Rosscarbery almost four years ago.
But it almost never happened for the Midleton native, as gardaí had sought an application in court last month to forfeit the ring to the State after no one came forward to claim it.
Declan – who lives in Eadestown in Kildare with his wife Sara and their two daughters Orla and Aoife – lost his wedding ring at The Warren Beach on June 4th 2016.
But he mistakenly believed that he had lost it while out cycling on the Beara Peninsula earlier that day. In fact, he and Sara even returned to Beara to search the road the following day but they had no luck in finding it.
The ring, which has the words ‘SARA 20/06/08’ inscribed on it, was then found on the beach almost a year later, on September 9th 2017.
Despite numerous online public appeals by gardaí – their post on Facebook was viewed by over 100,000 people – the ring remained unclaimed.
However, a recent re-post caught the attention of Sara’s friend, Síle, who told them about the search for the owner.
Speaking to The Southern Star, Declan said they are ‘absolutely delighted’ that the ring they thought they had lost forever turned up – almost four years later. ‘Once we heard about it I rang Bandon Garda Station and spoke to Tricia there to give her my details and my mother Mairead went down to Bandon on January 30th to collect it,’ said Declan.
‘This ring is very special and has a lot of sentimental value for us because we spent nine years living in Amsterdam and bought the ring from a jewellery shop that we used to live over, and it was then blessed in Spain where we got married, and then it ended up in West Cork!’
Declan – who works in research and development with Kerry Foods – felt it might crop up at some stage,.
‘But isn’t it incredible? That it sat on a beach for three-and-a-half years during many storms and even hurricanes.’
He is now faced with another dilemma – as he now has two wedding rings¡
‘The ring has a twin, though not identical, but it bears the names Sara, Orla and Aoife, which was presented to me as a birthday present last March. I have no excuses now for not wearing the band from now on.’
They even went back to the same jewellery shop in Amsterdam to get the replica ring made.
Declan and Sara want to thank the finder of the wedding ring, the staff at Bandon Garda Station, and their friend Síle who spotted the garda post.
Declan can count himself very lucky because at a recent sitting of Clonakilty District Court gardaí had applied for the ring to be forfeited to the State.
Sgt Paul Kelly was applying for the forfeit because the owner hadn’t come forward to claim it, despite it being in garda property for over two years.
Sgt Kelly said the finder of the ring – who is entitled to keep it after 366 days of finding it – had moved location and they were unable to contact them.
‘We publicised the ring on garda radio and the garda website too,’ said Sgt Kelly.
However, Judge James McNulty said that in fairness ‘not everyone listens to the garda radio or sees the website’ and he asked the media present in court to highlight and assist gardaí in tracing the owner of the ring.
Judge McNulty said at the time: ‘It could be someone’s lucky day’. For Declan, it certainly was.
Gda Damian Healy, who mans the property stores at the garda station told The Southern Star that this was a great news story and they were delighted that Declan has got his wedding ring back.
But he added that it is very common for people not to report items lost or stolen.
‘We would ask the public to always report to your local garda station items that you have lost or have had stolen, so that there is a record of it,’ said Gda Healy.
Another wedding ring that was found at Dunmore Cove late last year still remains unclaimed.
That man’s wedding ring has the words: ‘I love you Sinead’ inscribed on it and is currently at the property stores in Bandon Garda Station.
For more information contact Bandon Garda Station on 023-8852200.