Mayo woman recovers precious ring lost in ballot box

Returning officer John Condonand Jude Langan with the ring. Pic: Keith Heneghan

From Tom Shiel, Castlebar

A Co. Mayo voter had a ‘golden moment’ today when was reunited with a precious Claddagh ring which fell into a ballot box as she was voting on Friday.

Noreen Brennan from Kiltimagh got the gold band – an inheritance from her late mother, Annie – back at the election count in Castlebar, Co Mayo.

Count staff had earlier discovered the ring in a ballot box.

“I’m so relieved”, the mother-of-five declared as Returning Officer Fintan Murphy handed back the treasured memento.

Counting staff raised their heads briefly from their task and cheered as the handover took place.

Noreen was casting her vote on Friday at the No. 2 box in Kiltimagh National School when the ring slipped from her finger.

“I was shoving in the paper when the ring got caught”, she explained. “Next thing I knew it was in the ballot box!”

Mrs O’Sullivan immediately alerted the Castlebar Count Centre who promised they would keep an eye out for the missing ring.

Sean Langan, an official at the count centre said: “We marked the box where we thought the ring was located and asked staff to keep an eye out for it.

“We were delighted when the missing item fell out from a bundle of ballot papers.”

Returning Officer Fintan Murphy said his staff were delighted the ring had been found and safely returned to its owner.

“I am delighted with the care and professionalism shown by the count staff”, Mr. Murphy added.

“The ring was left to me by my late mother, Annie”, Noreen Brennan said. “I would have been devastated to lose it permanently. But I had every confidence I would get it back safely”.

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