A PAPER chase with a difference occurred outside Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan, on Friday as a farmer made his way into his bank to change his punts to euros on the last working day that punts remained legal tender.
The farmer, a bachelor who cannot be named for security reasons, was carrying over £50,000 in cash in a plastic bag on the carrier of his bicycle when he fell off his bike about three miles from Carrickmacross.
He remounted and continued on his journey unaware that that the plastic bag had ripped and that he was leaving a trail of cash in his wake as the cash blew all over the countryside.
Motorists clambered out of their vehicles to gather up as much of the "windfall" as they could as its owner continued on his way oblivious that he was literally "losing a fortune". A concerned motorist drove on and alerted the farmer just outside Carrickmacross. The unfortunate farmer lodged over £30,000 in his bank.
"There was money everywhere," said a senior Carrickmacross Garda yesterday. "Since this happened at around 1pm on Friday we have recovered over £10,000 from people who have come forward with their 'windfall'. Holding onto this money is technically larceny," concluded the Garda.