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Dublin: 13°C Tuesday 9 August 2022

Mystery of the Donegal message in a bottle

Two Donegal men have discovered a rather unusual message in a bottle, which was found near a 600ft drop off a cliff.

Declan Doherty, with the message in a bottle he found last week. Pic: Paul Doherty

WHEN PHOTOGRAPHER PAUL Doherty and his assistant Declan Doherty went to take photos of the sunset at Horn Head in Dunfanaghy, Co Donegal, they discovered something beyond beautiful scenery.

While Paul was out snapping, Declan was seated near the cliffside – and spotted a red-lidded glass jar underneath a large rock.

Curious, he went over to see what it was, and found a typed letter inside.

Written in five different languages, Hungarian, English, French, German and Spanish, the letter says (in English):

We went here and here we have a stone. Put yourself to one.
Once we come back and check it out.
If somebody writes [a specified email address] to create a page in their haunted.
(Do not take your paper, put it back)

Photo: Paul Doherty

We have blurred out the email to preserve the mystery of the jar, and Paul and Declan intend on contacting its owners. It is presumed they could be Hungarian owing to the first part of the message being in that language.

Paul told that the jar was under a large rock on top of a cliff, and looked as though it has been there a while, although there was no date on it.

The men photographed their find before putting it back exactly as they had found it.

The location of the jar is not somewhere that’s easily accessible. “We walked for 20 minutes half an hour before we got there,” Paul said.

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Locals told the men they were “as shocked as we were” about the bottle.

Paul thinks that the owners may have been tourists in the area, who took the chance to leave the quirky message while enjoying the view of the 600ft high cliffs. “It’s an amazing place,” said Paul. “Nobody really knows about it.”

“It was a pretty cool thing to happen,” said the Donegal man of the mystery find.  “It’d be interesting to hear when it was put there.”

Until they receive a response to their email, for now all the men can do is wonder who left the strange gift under a rock in a remote place in Donegal – and if they will return to retrieve it.

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