BEAUTIFUL black Labrador Gertie is enjoying life back home with the D’Arcy family following the appeal to find her which captured the hearts of the nation.
Gertie was a beloved walking companion of the late Mairead D’Arcy (30) from Ballyvooney, Stradbally who died in a motorsport accident at The Pike near Dungarvan on St Stephen’s Day.
Mairead (known affectionately to many as ‘Maud’) was a hugely popular member of the local community and had opened ‘Maud’s Little Learners’ in Stradbally in 2016.
She was Secretary of Waterford Raceway and a member of the Parish Pastoral Council. An email appealing for help in locating Gertie was read out on The Ray D’Arcy Show on RTÉ Radio One last week after she went missing during her morning run on Thursday March 2nd.
The appeal to find her subsequently gathered huge momentum and attracted much interest online.
A large crowd of local people, including members of the Coastguard, participated in the search for Gertie in areas around Stradbally.
To the delight of the D’Arcy family, Gertie was located on coastal cliffs on Wednesday evening last March 8th – only around 800 metres from the D’Arcy family home.
She was spotted by Billy Crowley, a member of the Coastguard, and a drone was used to pinpoint her exact location.
Climbing gear was used to get to Gertie on the rocks and to winch her back to safety.
Mairead’s brother John paid tribute to all those who assisted the family, especially vet Gemma Murphy.
“When people realised Gertie was missing, everyone offered to support us,” said John.
He said Gertie’s disappearance highlighted that Stradbally is such a close-knit community, adding that the family have received huge support ever since Mairead’s untimely death on St Stephen’s Day.
John is urging everyone to support an upcoming fundraising table quiz in Stradbally which is a fundraiser for the Coastguard. The event takes place at 8pm on Saturday, March 25th at Stradbally GAA Club.