West Cork’s lost property treasure trove

January 6th, 2020 10:05 PM

By Kieran O'Mahony

Some of the items found in the Macroom area at the Property Stores at Bandon Garda Station.

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WHEN a wedding ring was found at Dunmore Cove late last year the story captured the public’s imagination as they hoped the owner of the ring would eventually be found.

Sadly, in this case despite the intense media campaign undertaken by the gardaí, and appeals made in this newspaper, no one came forward to claim the ring.

It now lies, along with dozens of other items including jewellery, wallets, mobile phones, car keys and rings at the busy Property Stores at Bandon Garda Station.

It could easily be described as a treasure trove of lost property which have all been found across the Cork West Division and end up being stored here.

Gda Damien Healy and civilian staff Patricia Moroney are the duo that man the property stores itemising each item as they are handed in.

‘We can get anything from cash left at ATMs or on the streets to mobile phones and jewellery. The strangest one we got was when a set of golf clubs were left in a car park and they were eventually donated to charity as no one came forward to claim them,’ Patricia told The Southern Star.

‘The finder of any items is entitled to the property after 366 days and, in some cases, if it’s a sum of cash, they may just donate it to charity. On one occasion, a television was found in a car park in Clonakilty and again the finder didn’t want it, so we donated it to a charity shop in Bandon.’

What people may not be aware of is that mobile phones which are not claimed within that time period of 366 days end up being destroyed.

‘We can’t give back the mobile phones to the finder due to GDPR regulations and we end up smashing them up. It’s the same for iPads and laptops and these cannot be donated to charity shops,’ added Patricia.

Social media has been a helpful tool for the gardaí in tracking the owners of lost property and they regularly post items found, especially obscure items on the Garda Facebook page.

‘The advice we would give to people is that if they do end up losing something they should ring the local garda station in the area first and then ask them to check with ourselves here in the property stores. They can then make an appointment with ourselves to call in.’

West Cork crime prevention officer Sgt James O’Donovan said that it’s very important too for people to mark their property and he said using an Eircode is an option people could consider as it’s unique to each address.

As for the lost wedding ring, they did receive one call about it but it turned out to be for another wedding ring so it still remains waiting to re-united with its owner.

• If you think an item of yours may be stored here, contact Bandon Garda Station on 023-8852200 to make an appointment at the Property Stores.

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