A litter digging ensures lost wallet’s bin returned

Newtownabbey Borough Council workers John McNulty and Charlie Kelly at Bruslee. INNT 35-014-FP  Pic by Freddie Parkinson
Newtownabbey Borough Council workers John McNulty and Charlie Kelly at Bruslee. INNT 35-014-FP Pic by Freddie Parkinson

A University of Ulster academic has thanked two council workers for going above and beyond the call of duty to find and return her lost wallet.

Dr Denise McGrath, a lecturer in sport and exercise biomechanics, expressed her gratitude to John McNulty and Charlie Kelly, who work for the council’s cleansing department.

Having accidentally thrown her wallet into a rubbish bin near Loughshore Park, she couldn’t believe it when the two workers rooted through tonnes of rubbish to rescue her lost property.

“I was having a picnic with friends and had bought some things in the shop and put my wallet into the plastic bag and forgot all about it. When we’d finished eating I put the rubbish into the plastic bag and threw it in the bin,” explained Dr McGrath, who lives in Jordanstown.

On realising her mistake, she went back to the park to look for the wallet, which contained £200 in cash and all her bank cards, but the bins had already been emptied.

She contacted the council via its website on the Saturday evening and Bruslee workers John and Charlie went about deciphering which skip the bin she’d used would have been emptied into. They then sifted through the rubbish by hand until they found the wallet, which was returned to Dr McGrath on the Monday morning.

“I didn’t have much hope of getting it back, so it was amazing that they found it.

“It’s amazing what they did as they did it after hours, after their working day, and I’m just so grateful to them,” she told the Times.