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A relieved newly-wed couple who lost their wedding ring in a recycling centre have said a huge thanks to staff who combed a 40 yard skip in dying daylight hours to find it.

Caoimhe (32) and Owen Mooney (36) were on the way home to Athboy from the Oxigen Environmental Recycling Centre in Navan on Wednesday when Owen realised his Titanium band had fallen off his finger - just four weeks after getting married.

The couple frantically searched the grounds of their home initially before making the 17km trip back to the recycling centre as a last ditch effort of finding the ring.

The kind-hearted pair who only got married on December 23rd were recently thanked by the Irish Hospice Foundation for raising €4,390 after they asked friends and family to make donations to the charity instead of giving them presents.

"We just moved into our new house so we had a load of cardboard and stuff as well as Christmas wrapping in the garage for recycling," said Caoimhe.

"Owen and myself arrived at the centre at 3pm and left at 3.30 and on the way home, he noticed that his wedding ring wasn't on his finger.

"We said we may as well look for it before we panicked so we got home and looked all around the grounds of the house and in the car boot and said we would go back to the centre before it closed at 4.45pm

"We had no idea where it was lost. It may have fallen off as we were cramming stuff into the car boot or it may have slipped off when we were dumping the cardboard into the huge container.

"We were looking in, what is probably almost the size of a 40ft container, when the lads from the centre came out and asked if they could help.

"We were mindful that it was almost closing time, the daylight was fading and they probably wanted to go home but they insisted on helping.

"One got a torch and they jumped into the container and pushed all the cardboard around. They told us that it was lucky it had been emptied that morning and the cardboard hadn't got compacted.

"Then after about 20 minutes, we heard one of the lads shout, is it silver! He found it on the bottom of the container where it had either fallen directly from Owen's hand or fallen from the cardboard as they moved it around.

"To be fair, we took it all in our stride and I don't think the loss had time to sink in.

"But we are so, so grateful to the lads Damien Reilly, Robbie Connor and Gary Gibney on the site for going out of their way to help us. It was almost closing time, they could've told us to come back tomorrow but they didn't and from the bottom of our hearts, we just want to say a massive thank you. They are super kind people.

Teacher Caoimhe and Owen who works in IT were married with 25 guests before Christmas and asked for charity donations in memory of Owen's mam Margaret who died from cancer eight years ago.

"We asked Owen's dad Joe what charity he would like to choose and he said the Irish Hospice Foundation as it gave him and his wife so much support both before and after her death."

Facility manager at Oxigen, Christine Reynolds, said she was "so proud" of the lads.

"The lads are great and will help in any way they can. For Damien to get into the 40 yard compactor was dangerous and he ensured all the safety checks were made before he jumped in.

"We would like to highlight that no-one is allowed to jump into these skips as their weight could cause the compacting machine to start.

"These lads have worked all through Covid-19 when they were out the door with the workload as people stayed home to get renovations done and they've again made us proud. It's great that this couple got their ring back and we wish them all the best in their new life together."

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