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Donegal Message in a Bottle Mystery: Seeking Donegal Man Who Found Wexford Girl’s Bottled Note

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After stumbling upon the story of an American girl whose message in a bottle was found by a mysterious Donegal beachcomber, I wondered if Donegal had other message in a bottle stories to share. Well, I was in for a surprise. Not only is Donegal packed with a veritable library of message in a bottle stories, but many of them are mysterious. Here’s the really strange part: Many of these stories involve messages in bottles that were found and answered by someone who the messages’ authors cannot find in return. The finders appear to have forgotten to include their return address. Or perhaps they have chosen to remain anonymous. After Catherine’s story, the second such story I found was that of Wexford’s Eilish Black. Her’s is the latest Donegal message in a bottle mystery. Eilish sent a message in a bottle as a 3-year-old in 2014 that was found this year at the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland. But, according to the Donegal Daily, it was found by a Donegal man named James Murray. And now, Eilish cannot find James! She’s hoping someone in the vast sea of the internet can put her in touch with him.

Eilish’s message was more of–well, it was a drawing made by a three-year-old! “Message” might be a generous description, but it is great nonetheless. Her mother helped by writing her name and contact information on the message 🙂

Eilish Black's 2014 donegal message in a bottle mystery

Eilish Black’s 2014 message in a bottle. Photo: Black Family / Donegal Daily.

Letter from Donegal Man Who Found Eilish’s Message in a Bottle Connects Wexford, Giant’s Causeway, and Donegal

Eilish and her mother, Katie, received a letter in March of this year from James Murray of Donegal, who explained how he found Eilish’s message at the Giant’s Causeway. He also included Eilish’s message, reuniting her with her early artwork.

Murray’s letter to Eilish is simple and brief:

Hello Eilish Black. I found your message in a bottle while walking by the Giant’s Causeway in Co. Antrim, it took a long time to get here. I am glad to return it to you.

James Murray

Co Donegal

PS: I had to google the street map of Wexford to find your address, hope it is the right one.

Donegal Message in a Bottle Mystery - Response from James Murray, finder of Eilish's message in a bottle.

Response from James Murray, finder of Eilish’s message in a bottle. The lack of a return address makes this the latest Donegal message in a bottle mystery, and Eilish hopes to solve it. Photo: Black Family / Donegal Daily.

Eilish’s mother, Katie, told the Donegal Daily: “We would love to let him know we got the letter. As Eilish’s letter was a little damaged with water he said he wasn’t sure if he had the right address!”

Eilish Black with her message in a bottle and the response from the Donegal man who found it, who she is now trying to find.

Eilish Black with her message in a bottle and the response from the Donegal man who found it, who she is now trying to find. Photo: Black Family / Donegal Daily.

Elaine McCallig, who broke the story about Catherine and the story about Eilish, encourages anyone who might be able to help connect Eilish with James Murray to contact the Donegal Daily. Of course you can also drop me a line and I will pass on word to them. Of course, if James wants to stay off the radar, we’ll respect that, too! At least I will–I can’t speak for the media.

Message in a Bottle Traveled From Slaney River to Giant’s Causeway, Somehow

As a final note, I am deeply intrigued by this message in a bottle because I cannot figure out how it got to the Giant’s Causeway from the Slaney River near Wexford, and why it took four years to do so. Here’s a map showing, basically, where it was sent and found.

According to the Donegal Daily, Eilish threw her message in a bottle into the River Slaney near Wexford. So, did the bottle wind its way north through some network of rivers I am not aware of? Or did it drift out into the channel between Ireland and England, and then float north? Or did it circle clockwise around Ireland before landing at the Giant’s Causeway?

We will probably never know the path Eilish’s bottle took. But maybe, if we spread the word, we can solve this latest Donegal message in a bottle mystery, find James Murray, and put him and Eilish in touch 🙂

***If you liked this post, click here to find me on Facebook and like my page for more message in a bottle stories! You never know when YOU could be the one to solve a message in a bottle mysteryClick here to learn more about messages in bottles, and you can always contact me with questions, ideas, or stories. Don’t forget to check out this list of ideas for plastic-free gifts that work for holidays, birthdays, and more.

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