Shillelagh jpg

Mystery of the I-95 Shillelagh

Shillelagh jpg

Shillelagh jpg


The I-95 shillelagh awaits its owner

By Ray O’Hanlon
rohanlon@irishecho.com

It can only be hoped that the owner was driving on Interstate 95 and not walking beside it.

But if driving, the owner rapidly put miles between himself, or perhaps herself, and a well-used shillelagh.

Jerry McParland was driving what may well be the busiest highway on the planet.

He was returning from Florida to New York with his wife Donna when he pulled into a rest stop somewhere in the Carolinas, perhaps South Carolina but maybe North Carolina.

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Either way, he remembers the stop less for its precise location than what he found in it.

“It was there in the ground, in a parking space, a walking stick,” Jerry told the Echo.

“And I looked at it again and realized that it wasn’t just any old walking stick, but a shillelagh,” he said.

Jerry, whose New York home is in Long Beach, Long Island, is, like many Irish Americans, well familiar with the famed Irish Blackthorn walking stick which, in former times, was often used for tasks other than perambulation.

Jerry and his wife checked around the rest stop for the owner, but nobody claimed the shillelagh.

So they brought it back to New York and contacted the Echo hoping that, like them, the owner might be a reader, or that a reader might know someone who recently misplaced a shillelagh on a journey north, or south, along I-95.

“It has a distinguishing characteristic,” said Jerry of the lost shillelagh.

This characteristic is in addition to a strap at the holding end visible in the photo above.

Jerry is keeping that additional characteristic secret so as to make sure that if anyone gets in touch claiming the stick he can be sure the person is indeed the owner.

“I’m hoping that the owner, or someone who knows the owner, reads this and can get the shillelagh back,” he said.

The owner, or anyone who think they might know the owner, can contact the Echo at (212) 482-4818.