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Lost wedding ring turns up in sandcastle

Sisters Maisie and Lola Busch who found Gary Crossan’s ring on the beach near Portsalon Pier. Photo: Donna El Assaad


WHEN Letterkenny man Gary Crossan lost his cherished wedding ring while swimming off the beach at Portsalon at the end of June the chances of finding it must have seemed like a million to one shot.
Gary, who works as development officer for Triathlon Ireland, noticed the marriage ring missing from his finger on Friday evening, June 29, after spending much of the day on the beach with his family.
“I went for a swim and jumped in off pier and when I came back in I realised that the wedding ring was gone. We combed the beach as best we could but I pretty much thought it was a lost cause,” Crossan admitted.
After almost a month Gary had understandably virtually given up hope until, against all expectations, he was alerted to a Facebook post earlier this week that read: “I found this gold wedding ring last week on Portsalon beach near the pier. It has ‘Maria’ and a date engraved inside. Please share – would be great to get it back to its owner. Thanks”.
Days after the post made the rounds on Facebook, it was spotted by Gary’s brother-in-law Anthony Sheridan.
“He tagged me in the post yesterday (Wednesday) and I made contact with the lady last night. I was able to tell her the date engraved inside (20/12/03).
“We’re married nearly fifteen years and the ring is of great sentimental value. It just goes to show the power of social media. I wouldn’t be a big fan but it can do good some time, like on this occasion,” he said.
“I honestly thought that it would be impossible to find. It was like looking for a needle in a haystack and all I can say is thank you to Ann and her two young daughters for finding my ring,” he added.
A native of Carlow, Ann Busch now lives in Lisburn with her husband Gary and their two young daughters Lola (6) and Maisie (3). They have a holiday home in Portsalon.
“We were building a sand-castle on the beach last week and when we put the spade into the sand we dug up the ring. The girls were all excited to find treasure at the beach but I explained to them that this was someone else’s romantic story,” she said.
So Ann and her daughters set out to find the owner. She notified local shops before posting a photo of the ring to Facebook and asked people to share it. The photo has since been shared over 3,500 times across the country.
“I lost my engagement ring a few days after my husband, who’s also called Gary, proposed. It was lost in a frosty garden and it took us days to find it. I could feel his pain,” she said.
Gary is married to Maria McCambridge who represented Ireland at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens where she competed in the 5,000m.
Losing such an important item of jewellery can be absolutely devastating regardless of monetary value and no doubt Gary will ensure it is never out of his sight again.

Gary and Maria with their son Dylan.

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