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Milford widow’s plea for help in finding husband’s stolen ring

Friends and family are continuing to rally around a Milford pensioner, whose home was burgled this week as she laid her husband of 52 years to rest.

Muriel Diffin’s husband Cyril – known as Espie – died on Friday.

The entire community of Milford and beyond came along on Monday to pay their respects.

But as Muriel was returning to her home at Monaghan Street in the village, she was told she could not go down – during the course of the number of hours attending the funeral, burglars had raided the house.

While a large sum of cash, credit card and various items of jewellery were taken, one item can never be replaced.

Muriel today spoke of her heartbreak at losing a ring belonging to Espie, with whom she had recently celebrated 52 years of marriage.

“The ring was just an ordinary gold ring, with a red stone,” said the grieving widow. “It maybe wasn’t all that valuable but it was the sentimental value of it.”

The appeal was shared widely on social media last night and today television crews took up the story.

The local Milford Community page on Facebook tonight reports that, despite the media attention to date, there has still been no sign of Espie’s ring.

Posting on Facebook, the organisers state: “We are doing all we can, but still no sign of any remorse from those who decided to help themselves to a grieving woman’s happy memories. Please, please, please. All we want is the ring. The rest of the items would be gratefully accepted, but the most important is the signet ring.

“This is a ring that Muriel gave to her adoring husband a year after their wedding. We don’t care who you are or what else you have done.

“Leave the ring in an envelope and either leave it in the school house or post it through her front door (as you are aware of where it is). Give her a wee bit of happiness at this sad time. Do the right thing. You might even feel a wee bit better after it yourself.”

Last night a Milford-based group and a friend of the family told Armagh I a reward was being offered for its return.

And that was repeated tonight.

A spokesperson told Armagh I: “The reward is more than the ring is worth. Someone may have came across the ring on the street. Not for one moment if we receive a call will we think it is the person who stolen it; the robber probably has seen of how little value it is worth and threw it away, but if anyone has found it call us on 07860611179.

“We won’t ask where it was found, how it was found, nothing at all, we don’t even have to speak just exchange the ring for the reward.

“To be truthful I will be too emotional to speak anyway, I will just be so happy to see the ring and be able to return it to Muriel.

“Or if the robber is reading his and has a guilty mind – and they do not want to meet to return the ring – send it in the post to ‘The Old School House, 68 Hill Street, Milford, Armagh, BT603PB’ or drop it through the letterbox of hte house you robbed.

Muriel meanwhile has not given up hope, saying: “I might see it yet.”

She too has urged whoever took it to bring it back, saying: “It doesn’t mean anything to anyone else. It’s just something of Espie’s.”

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