Belfast Telegraph

Treasure hunter Oliver (8) reunites lost engagement and wedding rings with grateful owner

By Donna Deeney

A young boy in search of treasure on a beach has helped reunite a tourist with her lost wedding and engagement rings.

Oliver O'Neill (8) was happily playing on the sandy coves of Culdaff beach in Co Donegal when he noticed the sparking diamonds.

Unaware of just how valuable and precious his find was, he showed the rings to his father Ciaran.

Ciaran posted a picture of the items on his Facebook page when they returned home to Londonderry and asked people to share the post in a bid to get the lost jewellery back with their owner.

An incredible 13,000 shares later and the two rings were back on the fingers of a very relieved and grateful Aileen Fitzgerald from Dundalk, who had been on holiday in Donegal.

Mr O'Neill said his son was delighted to have been the hero of the day.

"Oliver and his wee cousin were up playing on rocks and I was a bit worried they were too high up so I went over to them," he explained.

"When I reached them Oliver was shouting out to me: 'Daddy, I found treasure, I found treasure'. He put his wee hand out and there were these two rings.

"He saw the glint of the diamonds in the sunlight as they were lying in the sand.

"I didn't realise what they were at the start, I thought they were just two ordinary rings.

"But when my wife Victoria saw them she knew straight away they were someone's wedding and engagement rings."

Ciaran wanted to find the owner.

So he turned to the power of social media to help him in his quest.

"I put a picture of the two rings up on Facebook and asked people to share the post.

"It ended up being shared over 13,000 times.

"I started to get messages from people as far away as America wondering if the rings were ones they had lost years ago while in Ireland.

"One of the people who shared the post was a guy who was big in the GAA in Donegal, and it was on his Facebook that a Guard saw it.

"The woman who owned the rings had been in the local Garda station and reported her lost rings, so the Guard put two and two together.

"There was an inscription on the inside of the rings which the woman - Aileen Fitzgerald - was able to describe, so I knew they were definitely her rings.

"She came to our house and picked them up and gave Oliver a very generous reward, which he was chuffed to bits about, and thinks he is a real hero - which he is to Aileen."

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