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Co Down man’s message in a bottle shows up almost 23 year later… in Co Down

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The message in the bottle

The message in the bottle

The message in a bottle.

The message in a bottle.

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The message in the bottle

Nearly 23 years ago, before the era of social media and dating apps, a Rostrevor native shipped off a message in a bottle, hoping it would reach a woman yet unknown to him, in a faraway land of exoticism and mystery.

Alas, the bottle has been found in Dundrum, another Co Down village around 18 miles up the road from Stephen Caulfield’s home place. 

Mr Caulfield sent his bottled letter on January 5, 1999. 

In it, he had written the date, his name and then-address, ending with: “I am 22 years old. Please write to me if you are a girl. Thanks!”

A Twitter user posted a photo of the note on Sunday evening, writing: “Anyone know this fella? Someone found this in a bottle in Dundrum.”

Mr Caulfield no longer lives in Rostrevor, but jokes that he has been “exiled to Warrenpoint”, which is less than a ten-minute drive away.

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The 44-year-old told the Belfast Telegraph he “was hoping for the bottle to reach a bit further”. 

"I threw it in at the docks beside Campbell's garage [in 1999] and absolutely had forgotten about it. It was done just to see how far it would go (it was a bit tongue-in-cheek). I had previously thrown one in when I was a teenager.”

He added his surprise that the bottle didn’t make a farther voyage, given that there are “so many currents in that particular area”. 

Rostrevor is located at the foot of Slieve Martin, one of the southern Mourne mountains, on the coast of Carlingford Lough, which is an inlet of the Irish Sea.

Although no girls ever did reply to his letter, Mr Caulfield, who is now married with children, said his family and friends have had a great time poking fun at his new revelation. 

“My wife and kids are having a laugh about it. My daughter said I'm viral. I collected my boy from school training this morning and as I did, the vice principal said, ‘There's message in a bottle’!

"It's provided a bit of light relief for a few. I’m getting a bit of stick off my friends,” the St Bronagh's GAA fan continued.

He also joked online that it’s “something different to talk about other than Covid”.

And for those who may be wondering, the father-of-three did further confirm, that despite people’s hopes, he didn’t meet his wife via any correspondence in a drinks container.


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