Wedding ring lost on Donegal beach found by children building sand castles

Gold ring belongs to husband of Irish Olympian Maria McCambridge

Sisters Maisie (3) and Lola Busch (6) from Lisburn who while on their holidays in Portsalon, Co Donegal, found the lost wedding ring. Photograph: Donna El Assaad

Sisters Maisie (3) and Lola Busch (6) from Lisburn who while on their holidays in Portsalon, Co Donegal, found the lost wedding ring. Photograph: Donna El Assaad

a
 

When Donegal man Gary Crossan lost his cherished wedding ring while swimming off the beach at Portsalon, Co Donegal, at the end of June the chances of finding it must have seemed like a million to one shot.

Gary, who works as development officer for Triathlon Ireland, noticed the ring missing from his finger on Friday evening, June 29th, after spending much of the day on the beach with his family.

“I went for a swim and jumped in off the pier and when I came back in I realised that the wedding ring was gone. We combed the beach as best we could but I pretty much thought it was a lost cause,” he said.

After almost three weeks Gary had understandably virtually given up hope until, against all expectations, he was alerted to a Facebook post earlier this week that read: “I found this gold wedding ring last week on Portsalon beach near the pier. It has ‘Maria’ and a date engraved inside. Please share - would be great to get it back to its owner. Thanks”.

Days after the post went live, it was spotted by Gary’s brother-in-law Anthony Sheridan.

“He tagged me in the post ... (on Wednesday) and I made contact with the lady last night. I was able to tell her the date engraved inside (20/12/03).

“We’re married nearly fifteen years and the ring is of great sentimental value. It just goes to show the power of social media. I wouldn’t be a big fan but it can do good some time, like on this occasion,” he said.

“I honestly thought that it would be impossible to find. It was like looking for a needle in a haystack and all I can say is thank you to Ann and her two young daughters for finding my ring,” he added.

Ann Busch who is originally from Carlow but now lives in Lisburn, Co Antrim, with her husband Gary and their two young daughters Lola (6) and Maisie (3) was holidaying in Portsalon when her children found the ring.

“We were building a sand castle on the beach last week and when we put the spade into the sand we dug up the ring. The girls were all excited to find a treasure at the beach but I explained to them that this was someone else’s romantic story,” she said.

“I lost my engagement ring a few days after my husband, who’s also called Gary, proposed. It was lost in a frosty garden and it took us days to find it. I could feel his pain,” she said.

Gary, who lost the ring, is married to Maria McCambridge who represented Ireland at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens where she competed in the 5,000m.

a