Isabella Quaye from the Isle of Man found a football belonging to a Duleek club whilst playing at the beach

Duleek football washes up 220 km away on the Isle of Man

A football that was kicked into the sea at Clogherhead by an eleven-year-old schoolboy from Duleek has turned up on a beach 220km away. Six-year-old Isabella Quaye was playing on Ballaugh Beach on the Isle of Man with her family when she spotted a football washed up on the shoreline. After some research, the family were shocked to discover that it belonged to Duleek Schoolboys and Girls Football Club and had made its way 137 miles across the Irish Sea. 

Mum Nicola Quaye explains what happened,

"My husband Nigel and I were on the beach with our two children Isabella (6) and Austin (3). We were just playing at the beach and the ball just kind of floated up from the waves and to our feet really and we thought we'll have that," she laughs, adding

"There was something written on the ball but it was quite faint, it took us a few google searches to figure out the right name, we kept putting in different things and then eventually Duleek just came up. We put the football club into google and it came up with a map. I decided to get in touch with them on Facebook to say we had their ball!"

"We were amazed at how far it came. It wasn't flat or anything, it was perfect. The kids are playing with it in the garden now."

Eleven-year-old Caeoimhín Kirwan, a 6th class student of Mount Hanover National School in Duleek was enjoying a day out on Clogherhead Beach with his family when the ball he kicked ended up in the sea earlier this month. 

Isabella in her Isle of Man gear proudly showing off her new football 

"Caeoimhín had the ball because he has played with the Duleek Arrows since he was five up until last year when the team broke up," says his mother, Amy, adding, Stephen Mc Croary managed the Arrows until the last year and then my husband took over and comanaged it with another man. Because the team broke up we have ten or twelve of the balls in the back garden and anytime we go anywhere, Caeoimhín picks up a ball and brings it with him. 

"He was playing around with the ball and kicked it into the water. It was a pretty windy day and he went to go in after it but a lifeguard saw him on the beach and came over and told him to leave it as the ball was going to go out too far so he left it. That was it, we watched it going out, it was really windy and was going out really fast. We thought we'd never see it again.

"The first we heard about it was nine days later, last Sunday. The lady who found the ball did a bit of research because the name of the team was on the ball in black marker. I saw a message that she posted on to the club's Facebook page and I replied saying my son had kicked the ball into the sea a week before and it was ours. 

Caeoimhín Kirwan from Duleek was amazed that the ball he kicked into the sea at Clogherhead washed up on the Isle of Man

Amy says that her soccer enthusiast son is reeling from the furore surrounding the unusual find, 

"He thinks it's crazy. It was late on Sunday night when I saw the post on Facebook, he was asleep but I woke him to tell him, he couldn't believe it. There was great excitement and he is buzzing now that everyone is asking him about it. He's a local celebrity," she laughs. 

Isle of man resident Nicola says she just had to find out where the ball came from, 

"I think it's quite exciting, I like the idea of tracing things back to where they came from because you know when you lose something and you wonder where it has ended up, we were intrigued by this mysterious ball so it was quite interesting to do the detective work on it.  My son Austin is too young to understand but Isabella is so excited by all of the attention it is getting.

"I asked the boy's mother, Amy, if they would like it back and she said no that it's a gift from them so Isabella is going to send a little thank you note so you never know they could become pen pals." 

Duleek Schoolboys and Girls Football Club commented: "Our club page is usually quite mundane with training and match information so this story definitely brightened it up and added a little fun. We are going to send a Duleek Arrows jersey to Isabella so she can have it  to go with her new ball."