Long lost engagement ring back where it belongs after 37 years

Marian's engagement ring back on her finger after 37 years. 0103JM02
Marian's engagement ring back on her finger after 37 years. 0103JM02

A ‘Journal’ appeal has helped reunite a Derry woman with her engagement ring thought lost some 37 years ago.

Marion McGlinchey said she is “over the moon” after finally getting her ring back last Friday.

RING MYSTERY SOLVED!. . . .An emotional Marian McGlinchey is reunited with her long lost engagement ring at the Derry Journal offices in Friday morning. 0103JM01 (Photo: Jim McCafferty)

RING MYSTERY SOLVED!. . . .An emotional Marian McGlinchey is reunited with her long lost engagement ring at the Derry Journal offices in Friday morning. 0103JM01 (Photo: Jim McCafferty)

It had gone missing while Marion was in hospital giving birth to her first son Joseph back in 1976.

Last Friday we ran an appeal after an engagement ring was anonymously posted to the ‘Journal’ - and it wasn’t long before Marion got in touch.

“I went into work on Friday morning and my husband Tommy was reading the ‘Journal,” Marion said.

“He handed it to me and said ‘there’s a story you might be interested in’. I thought it was too much of a coincidence, but I started to hope,” she said.

The ring had gone missing from Marion’s bedside locker in Altnagelvin’s maternity ward.

“One day I came back from feeding the baby and it was gone. My heart sank, I thought ‘how will I tell Tommy?

“The staff were very good and turned the place upside down. Sister Walker was in charge at the time and she thought maybe it had gone to the incinerator,” she said.

She thought she would never see it again.

“By the time we left the hospital I had given up.

“I was crestfallen and so angry with myself.

“We never replaced it and as the years passed I kept thinking about it every now and then.”

But decades later, Marion said she is “thrilled to have it back.”

“I am absolutely over the moon, it’s like getting it for the first time,” she said.

“I’m so shocked that it has resurfaced after all these years.

“It’s been so long and over the years I’ve often looked at my friends’ engagement rings and wondered.”

The ring had lay hidden away until it arrived in the Journal’s post last Tuesday.

An accompanying and anonymous letter - and £10 note since donated to Foyle Hospice - asked if an advertisement could be placed to help trace the ring’s original owner.

The letter reads: “The ring was found in Altnagelvin Hospital in 1977,78 or 79.

“It was put in a drawer and forgotten until last year........could you please put an advert in your newspaper and hopefully it could be returned to the rightful owner? And truly sorry it was not returned sooner.”

Marion said she “harbours no ill will” to whoever had it.

“Had they not come forward now I would never have seen it again.

“I wish them all the best and am very grateful,” she said.