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I'm so grateful to bottle bank staff for missing ring miracle

Fancy looking for a golden needle in a huge glass haystack?

Joan Delaney McMahon was "distraught" when she lost her mother's wedding ring in a bottle bank containing up to six tonnes of glass.

The gold ring ended up somewhere among thousands of broken bottles being transported for several miles in the back of a lorry.

"I didn't think I'd ever see it again," said Joan, who broke down in tears when she realised her ring had slipped off her little finger.

"My mother died in 1973 and I never took her ring off. It was even more valuable to me because burglars stole my mother's engagement ring from my home more than 30 years ago.

"I was putting bottles into the big container at the recycling centre in Bray last week when I heard a clink as the ring fell into the glass. The bottles must have been wet and I realised straight away what happened," she said.


She said Daryl Tighe, manager of the Wicklow County Council recycling centre, was extraordinarily kind when she told him of her plight. Joan, who lives at Lauderdale Estate in Bray, said: "I was absolutely distraught. I was crying. But Daryl was an absolute gem."

Mr Tighe and his three staff spent more than an hour trying to find the ring but they could not fully access the massive container.

He told the Herald later: "The ring was obviously of immense sentimental value to her. We did what we could."

Mr Tighe, husband of former Independent Wicklow TD Mildred Fox, ended up contacting Glassco Rehab in Co Kildare and he succeeded in persuading the company to join the quest to find the ring.

The container was then transported to the company's Kildare facility and carefully emptied.

Truck driver Eric Hensey eventually found the ring and passed it on to Mr Tighe.

A delighted Joan declared: "I'm so deeply grateful for all that was done. It was a miracle it was found."