Plea to find pensioner’s suitcase, accidentally sold in charity shop

Maureen Gallagher.
Maureen Gallagher.

An appeal has been launched to find a pensioner’s suitcase after it was inadvertantly taken from a charity shop.

Maureen Gallagher, who has been a volunteer at the Samaritan’s Shop in Lurgan for decades, had popped in for a chat with friends on Friday afternoon.

The mother of four had been on her way to Magherafelt to visit her son who had organised a special event for her 75th birthday.

With the suitcase packed, she felt she had a little time to spare before her journey and went into a back room in the shop for a cup of tea.

“As it was busy I had set the suitcase down in the main shop. But when I came back, it turned out another volunteer had accidentally sold it,” said Mrs Gallagher.

The pensioner, who had worked as a secretary in St Anthony’s Primary School for 40 years, was upset as the case was packed with some lovely clothes and jewellery.

She had packed especially as she knew she was going to a special event to celebrate her birthday.

Then she had to rush home and hurriedly organise a new outfit and suitcase before her son came to collect her.

A widow, Maureen, who has been given the accolade of Person of the Year for volunteering by Craigavon Council, believes she will never see her belongings again.

“It was sold to a man and he must have known there was stuff in it because of the weight of it,” she said,

Maureen is not only a volunteer at the Samaritan’s Shop but also at the helpline centre in Portadown.

Everyone is hoping that someone might find the leopard print wheelie suitcase which is cabin size, and return it to the Samaritan’s Shop in Lurgan.