What happens to the belongings that passengers leave behind on Irish Rail and Dublin Bus services?
Every day an astonishing number and variety of items are left behind on Dublin's public transport systems. At Heuston Station, Rita Butterly, of Irish Rail explains what happens to things left behind by passengers.
On average we would have an item per train.
This is born out when Ollie Monahan of Irish Rail finds a pair glasses on the 7:15 train from Tralee.
Frequently mobile phones are left behind, but important documents such as court papers or house deeds are also mislaid. Some of the more bizarre lost property items Rita Butterly mentions are
An artificial leg that we found that was actually never claimed from us, we also had a bedpan.
Dublin Bus passengers are equally careless. Bus driver Paul Fitzsimons once found a set of garden tools on his bus. Dublin Bus area manager Mark Kelly recalls that after the Oxegen music festival at Punchestown Racecourse in Kildare, 127 pairs of designer wellington boots were left behind at one bus depot.
Unclaimed items go up for auction. Auctioneer Liam Mulrooney has been putting up unclaimed lost property from Irish Rail, Dublin Bus and An Garda Síochána for almost 30 years. Four auctions a year make over €50,000 for the state.
What the prices fetched for left behind bicycles and motor scooters will depend on their condition. Mobile phones, cameras, and jewellery can make great money at a lost property auction.
Auctioneer Norman Colter is baffled by the wheelchair that went under his hammer,
He must have died, or else maybe it was a miracle, maybe he was able to get up and walk again.
A 'Capital D’ report broadcast on 20 March 2008. The reporter is Anne Cassin.