A community pulled together to rescue the last link to a Waterford family's deceased member when Gertie the dog went missing on Thursday, 2 March.
The story begins to take shape when a member of the community, Ann Navin, contacted the Ray D'arcy Show to start a public appeal to return the dog to his home.
Gertie belonged to the Mairéad, the daughter of Ray and Ann D'arcy, who tragically died in a Motorsport accident on St Stephens Day.
Since the loss of Mairéad, Gertie has become a vital part of the D'arcy's lives.
Unfortunately, last Thursday, Gertie went missing and despite extensive searches of the neighbourhood, the family pet could not be found.
Reaching out to The Ray D'arcy Show on RTÉ One, Ann Navin sent this email on Monday:
I this email concerns the Darcy Family, Stradbally, Co Waterford (Ray Darcy, (Hedgecutter) was actually a guest on your show on Today FM a couple of years ago.
Ray and his wife Ann lost their beautiful daughter Mairéad in a tragic Motorsport accident on St Stephens Day. This has been devastating for the family and they are trying to cope as best they can. The family pet, Gertie, a beautiful black Labrador has been a great source of comfort to them since the death of Mairéad, as Mairéad always took Gertie for her daily walk/run. She loved Gertie and Gertie loved her.
Unfortunately, on Thursday morning last, Gertie disappeared and there has been no sighting of her despite extensive searches of the neighbourhood. We feel that Gertie may have been stolen.
This has caused more heartbreak for the Darcy Family and we would appeal to whoever has her to PLEASE, PLEASE, BRING HER BACK. It would bring a little bit of happiness back to this wonderful family. We cannot bring Mairéad back, but if whoever took her has any conscience at all and if they hear this appeal, they will bring Gertie back to her home, to the family who loves her.
After the email was read out on air, John D'arcy, the son of Ray and Ann, came on air to talk about the loss of their dog and what it has meant to them.
Less than four days later, John was back on the air for a more jovial reason as he shared the tale of Gertie's return to the D'arcy household.
A friend of the family, who happened to be a member of the local Coastguard took a look around the cliffs of Ballyvooley, close to the family home.
Much to his delight, he heard a dog barking and looking over the edge, there was Gertie, 50 foot down on the rocks.
Billy rang Coastguard Brian Fleming from the Tramore Coastguard and told him: “We are going to be busy for the evening...”
Three climbers were sent over the edge and two made the 50 foot descent to retrieve Gertie who was in great form and only delighted to have visitors after her lonely ordeal!
Speaking about getting Gertie back John said the family were delighted: “ It was phenomenal, the feeling.
“I arrived home that evening from Dublin and I couldn't get into the house, the world and it's mother was at our house.”
“It was great to see the whole community come together and we are delighted to have Gertie back in our lives.”