Sunday 19 May 2019

'If only Mayo could find Sam as easily' - social media helps reunite three Irishmen with photo taken by stranger in New York

The three friends in Mayo
The three friends in Mayo
New York (stock photo)

Gabija Gataveckaite

The power of social media has helped reunite three Mayo men with a photograph taken of them by a random passer-by in New York.

People on Twitter got to work when the photographer, Christina Boniello, posted a photo of Mayo friends Seán Tigue, Bernard Waldron and John Devaney on her profile and asked for help.

"When I was in the city last week, these three Irishmen asked me to take a photo of them, but none of them had phones,” she wrote.

"'You’ll take the picture and we’ll find it someday’ so if by some strange turn of events anyone knows these guys, here’s their photo,” she added.

The photograph of the three men in Times Square quickly garnered thousands of likes and shares.

In the space of two hours, all three men had been named and the photo is believed to have been forwarded on to them.

The three friends are understood to be from Ballyhaunis, Co Mayo.

"I can’t believe the attention the tweet has gotten! Just glad it’s made the way back to them," Christina told

"Honestly my first thought was they were just being cheeky," she added when asked what her reaction was when the men asked her to take a photo as neither of them had a phone to hand.

"I figured they definitely had cameras but just wanted me to take it," she said.

The New Yorker added how amazed she was by the response online and the power of social media.

"I most definitely wasn’t expecting all this! Just amazes me how quickly it spreads halfway around the world to find these guys," she said.

Ballyhaunis GAA described the three men as 'musketeers'.

The quick discovery was praised by social media users, with one user saying: "The Irish can find someone faster than the FBI, trust us".

"If only Mayo could find Sam as easily," said another.

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