A YOUNG girl from Waterford is to be reunited with her Gaelic football after it washed out to sea almost two weeks ago.
Earlier this week,we reported on an rather bizarre tale which showcased the power of social media, as a woman in Wales found a Gaelic football washed up on the beach.
Using the power of deduction, as the ball is used in Ireland's national sport-- and the name 'Aoife Ní Niocaill' was scrawled across it-- the ball's finder, Aline Denton, realised the ball must have travelled across the sea from Ireland to land on Llanrhystud beach, West Wales.
Ms Denton took to Facebook to share an image of the ball, asking "Wonder how long it's taken to get here from Ireland?"-- and it didn't take long to find out.
Thousands of people across Ireland shared the post, and less than six hours later the image had reached Aoife Ní Niocaill's father, Ruairí.
An astounded Ruair Mac Niocaill contacted Aline, writing on Facebook: "I'm Aoife's dad!
"She's 10 years old and she lost her ball on Woodstown Beach in County Waterford last Sunday. It went in the water as the tide was going out and all we could so was watch it drift away!
"I showed her the picture you posted-- she [thinks] she's famous now!
"Thanks so much for posting it."
Now the Ní Niocaill family have spoken to RTÉ where 10-year-old Aoife says she worried her ball would have ended up in the belly of a whale, but never imagined it would make it all the way to Wales.
The family had taken a trip to Woodstown Beach when Aoife kicked her football too hard-- it landed in a strong current and was quickly swept out too far for her to reach it.
Seven days later, the ball was picked up by Aline Denton-- luckily, the liathróid had Aoife's name on it, which Aoife explained is because her brother has a similar ball.
"I just happened to see this ball and I was about to put it in the bag, and I suddenly saw Aoife’s name, and I knew it was an Irish name," Aline told RTÉ.
"I could see the GAA logo so I thought this has obviously come across from Ireland."
Aline went on to promise that she would soon be posting Aoife's ball back to her in Ireland, because now, thanks to the power of social media, she knows Aoife's address.
But with Wales still in lockdown, Aline said she's not sure if posting a football is an essential journey-- "So I'm waiting until I need some milk".
Meanwhile, Aoife told RTÉ that she's going to keep the football practice to on the pitch, and won't be bringing the ball to the beach again.