Ireland

Are you Aoife? Message in a bottle from Ireland washes up on US shore

The note does not give any contact details, only the name Aoife. Picture by Wildwood Sun magazine via Facebook
The note does not give any contact details, only the name Aoife. Picture by Wildwood Sun magazine via Facebook The note does not give any contact details, only the name Aoife. Picture by Wildwood Sun magazine via Facebook

IRELAND is on the lookout for a mystery Aoife after a message in a bottle turned up on a beach in New Jersey, on the east coast of the USA.

The message was found on Wednesday August 17 by Frank Bolger, who was picking up rubbish on the 14th Street Beach in Wildwood, New Jersey,  with his wife, Karen, and granddaughter, Autumn.

The note does not give any contact details, only the name Aoife. Picture by Wildwood Sun magazine via Facebook
The note does not give any contact details, only the name Aoife. Picture by Wildwood Sun magazine via Facebook The note does not give any contact details, only the name Aoife. Picture by Wildwood Sun magazine via Facebook

The message is dated July 17 2019 and reads: "Greetings from Ireland. I have thrown this bottle into the sea for someone to find another day.

"Maybe it's travelled down to Africa or to Iceland. I won't know if someone found this, but I hope it's found. Aoife (Note writer)."

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Frank and his family visit this beach weekly during the summer. Picture by Wildwood Sun magazine via Facebook
Frank and his family visit this beach weekly during the summer. Picture by Wildwood Sun magazine via Facebook Frank and his family visit this beach weekly during the summer. Picture by Wildwood Sun magazine via Facebook

Speaking to RTÉ's Morning Ireland Mr Bolger said the discovery had sparked interest among the Irish diaspora.

"(The note) never left an email or address or anything to contact, other than the name Aoife.

"We reached out to a couple of people and it went viral and took off from there."

The note, that traveled 3207 miles in four years, was first shared by the Wildwood Sun magazine before being picked up by the local Irish-American community.

Frank Bolger with his wife Karen and granddaughter Autumn. Picture by Wildwood Sun magazine via Facebook
Frank Bolger with his wife Karen and granddaughter Autumn. Picture by Wildwood Sun magazine via Facebook Frank Bolger with his wife Karen and granddaughter Autumn. Picture by Wildwood Sun magazine via Facebook

Frank, whose family emigrated from Ireland in the 1860s, continued: "I don't know who wrote it, maybe someone who was at the beach, a romantic who wrote the note and threw it into the ocean."

"We've contacted people with the name Aoife but they've all said, 'No, It's not me'."

The message is dated for July 17, 2019, but was only found last Wednesday. Picture by Wildwood Sun magazine via Facebook
The message is dated for July 17, 2019, but was only found last Wednesday. Picture by Wildwood Sun magazine via Facebook The message is dated for July 17, 2019, but was only found last Wednesday. Picture by Wildwood Sun magazine via Facebook

According to popular-babynames.com, between the years 1964 and 2022, there were 21,687 Aoifes born in Ireland alone.

The original story by the Wildwood Sun magazine has been shared over 800 times on Facebook and has been covered by various media outlets.

While it may be like looking for a needle in a haystack, Frank Bolger is not giving up on trying to get in contact with the mystery Aoife.