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Long journey Irish girl's Gaelic football lost at sea washes up 200km in Wales

A local in the Welsh village of Llanrhystud issued a social media appeal after she found the ball, which luckily had Aoife's name written on it.

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Luckily, Aoife (10) had signed it

Luckily, Aoife (10) had signed it

Luckily, Aoife (10) had signed it

A football belonging to a 10-year-old girl which was swept away with the tide off the Waterford coast has turned up on a beach in Wales a week later.

Aoife Ní Niocaill watched helplessly as her Gaelic football got swept away with the strong waves on Woodstown beach in Dunmore East last Sunday.

However, a week later a local in the Welsh village of Llanrhystud issued a social media appeal after she found the ball, which luckily had Aoife's name written on it.

Taking to Facebook, Welsh woman Aline Denton wrote: "If anyone knows Aoife Ní Niocaill, her football's just washed up on Llanrhystud beach - West Wales! Wonder how long it's taken to get here from Ireland?"

Within hours, over 8,000 people shared the post.

As the social media post gained traction from users eager to reunite the football with its owner, the appeal quickly reached Aoife's father Ruairí, who revealed the ball had gone missing a week beforehand.

Famous

"I'm Aoife's dad. She's 10 years old and she lost her ball on Woodstown Beach in Co Waterford last Sunday.

"I showed her the picture you posted - she thinks she's famous now. Thanks so much for posting it," he replied.

Speaking to Damien Tiernan on WLR FM, Ruairí said:"A friend of mine messaged asking if this was Aoife's ball and then a second friend messaged me.

"It shows you the power of social media when used for good. It only took five hours to find Aoife," he said.

Ruairí said the family are amazed at how the football travelled 200km across the Irish Sea.

Aoife is a bit bewildered. She's impressed by how interested people are in her ball.".

The Welsh woman updated the appeal after locating the owner, saying: "The post has reached Aoife's dad.

"Aoife lost her football near Waterford seven days ago. Thanks to everyone who shared the post!

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