Wednesday 17 January 2018

Lofty idea brings royal surprise to Kingdom

Majella O'Sullivan

A BUNCH of balloons let off in London to celebrate the royal wedding have made their way to another kingdom.

Though some were deflated, most were still somehow intact when they landed in a ditch near the village of Barraduff in Co Kerry.

The balloons were found by local resident Nora Hickey, who said she suspected instantly where they had come from because of their colours.

It was only on closer examination, and when she read the goodwill messages attached, she realised the balloons had been released from The Gatehouse, a pub in north London, on Friday, following the marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton.

Nora made the discovery at around 11.30am on Saturday. When she saw the blue, white and red colours she says she had a suspicion of where they might have come from.

"I knew in the back of my head they had come from England when I saw the colours," she told the Irish Independent.

"They were stuck to the ditch and they were too high for me to reach so I had to go home and get a ladder and a brush to get them down.

"There were about 16 balloons in total and there were 23 notes attached to them. There was a strong breeze on Friday night but I couldn't believe they had landed over here so quickly."

People who had been in the pub on the morning of the wedding had scribbled notes wishing the royal couple a long life and happiness. The messages were then released into the air with the helium-filled balloons.

One of the notes contained a mobile phone number of plumber Barry Gould, who Nora contacted on Saturday.

"He could not believe they had ended up in Ireland, and so quickly, in less than 24 hours," she said. "He asked me to take some pictures and to send them back to The Gatehouse."

Mr Gould had been in the pub watching the wedding.


He said the "governor" had handed out paper for people to write messages on and he wrote his name, occupation and phone number in the hope of getting some work.

"I said to the guys I might as well get some free advertising out of it," he said. "When I got the phone call from Nora I thought Kerry's a long way to go to fix a leak.

"It's amazing how far they went in such a short time. The governor only released them at around 5pm on Friday."

Mr Gould said he was looking forward to receiving Nora's pictures. "I might get some work out of it after all," he joked.

Irish Independent

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