Workers removing an extensive area of damaged wooden boards from Wexford quayfront to make way for the laying of a new surface, discovered €180 worth of coins underneath, accidentally dropped there by people walking on the award-winning amenity.
The loot mostly consisted of one and two Euro coins but there were also smaller denominations and some Sterling coins, presumably lost from the pockets of UK visitors.
The find amounted to €10 worth of coins for every year since the quayfront was officially opened in 2000.
The Kilmuckridge-based company Hearne Construction collected all the lost money and matched the amount to present a tidy sum of €360 to Wexford MarineWatch, some of whose volunteers may have dropped a few of the coins themselves since they carry out anti-suicide patrols on the quayfront every night. The idea of collecting the coinage came about in a serendipitious fashion after County Council planning department employee Sonia Hunt was walking along the quayfront with her daughters Caitlin (13) and Lydia (10) when the wooden boards were being removed.
'I was on the quayfront with my daughters and I saw they were lifting up the panels. My daughter said 'I wonder how much money was dropped down there', said Sonia who mentioned it to colleagues when she went into work the next day, suggesting it would be a nice idea to collect the money and give it to MarineWatch. 'I made a few enquiries and spoke to Michael Brazzil who was overseeing the project. He thought it was a fantastic idea and he got in touch with the contractor who agreed to collect all the coins and offered to match the amount', said Sonia. Colm Hearne presented the coins and a matching cheque to Cllr. George Lawlor who was delighted to accept it on behalf of MarineWatch and Sonia and Michael were there to witness the handover.