Thursday 19 October 2017

Have you seen this journal? Devastated Dubliner appeals for return of diary he's been writing for 8 years

Robbie's journal
Robbie's journal
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

A Dublin man has appealed for the return of his diary after losing it on 'a bit of a pub crawl'.

Robert O'Neill (30) from Drumcondra had been writing lyrics, memories, and observations in the little leather bound journal for the past eight years.

He was due to meet a friend in Dublin city on Thursday evening and brought the diary as he had some time to himself first to jot down "little thoughts and memories".

"It fits perfectly in my jacket pocket but when I checked when I got home it was gone.  I'm devastated," he told Independent.ie. "I've brought it to so many places, so many travels."

Robert O'Neill
Robert O'Neill

"It's terrible to lose it to be honest. It's like losing photos in a fire.  You'll never be able to replace it. 

"It's not even for the present.  It's more for the future, in 20 years time I'll look back and see what my thoughts were, what things were like."

He started writing it in 2009 after he was inspired by a diary he found in a London flea market which was written by a woman between WWI and WWII.

“It just blew my mind," he says.  "It wasn’t a diary per se, but one page might be a poem, or there might just be a couple of words on another page.  But it was  real snapshot in time. And I wanted to have something like that for myself.  It’s a real snapshot of my 20s.”

Despite the fact it’s such a personal tome, he’s not worried about people reading his innermost thoughts.

“It’s not embarrassing, it’s not like Fifty Shades of Grey or anything,” he laughs. “The first page is a Dostoevsky quote.”

He says it contains “lists of films, lists of books, lists of music, the things I like and entertain my soul, a collection of life stories, poems, romance and love, thoughts, reflections, friendships and memories from traveling mostly over the past nearly 10 years, things I admire, that I am proud to have done, and things I strive to do and be.”

Robbie and his friend had drinks at P Macs on Stephen Street Lower, Grogans on South William Street and The Globe on South Great George's Street but the diary has not surfaced at any of the pubs.

"The funny thing is I never put my name or number in it but on Thursday last week I just instinctively did it on the bus on my way into town," he says.

"I don't know why I did that, if it's fate. If somebody finds it they can contact me."

He would also happily offer a reward for its return.

“I’d trade my car for it to be honest,” he says. “Or I’d definitely give someone a few bob or a pint or two!”

If anyone finds the diary they can contact us here at Independent.ie at aokelly@independent.ie

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