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Quebec message in bottle reaches Ireland

Oct. 24, 2012 at 10:13 AM

MONTREAL, Oct. 24 (UPI) -- After eight years bobbing in the Atlantic Ocean, a plastic bottle with a message written by two Quebec girls was found 2,500 miles away on the shore in Ireland.

The discovery was made last week by 10-year-old Oisin Millea, a beachcomber in the coastal town of Passage East, and first reported by the Irish Independent Monday.

The message was written in French and dated June 2004. Translation showed it was written by two 12-year-old girls from Montreal who were on vacation in eastern Quebec's Gaspe Peninsula along the shoreline of the St. Lawrence River when they tossed the bottle into the river.

The message asked the finder to contact them, but left only their first names and an email address that no longer works, the Independent said.

However, as the news spread through social networks, the two women, now 20 and attending college in Montreal, realized it was them.

They contacted The (Montreal) Gazette and by Tuesday, were fielding interviews from Irish and other European media. That included a Skype video call between the women and Millea, who summed up the chat saying, "It was great."

The boy will likely meet the women who wrote the message next year. The national Tourism Ireland agency has offered to fly them over next year with free lodgings for a week.

The country will be celebrating all things Irish next year, and the agency no doubt noted the bottle that started out in Canada and reached the Emerald Isle was green.

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