Colmcille Carberry, 11 with his sisters Honor, six and Marie-Aibhlinn, four
Colmcille Carberry, 11 with his sisters Honor, six and Marie-Aibhlinn, four
 

Colmcille Carberry turned 11 a fortnight ago and was given £40 by his grandparents, a new wallet from his brother and a new Zip card for travel. He put all these gifts into a yellow rucksack, which he took with him to Acton Park for celebrations with his mother, two sisters and friends.

Colmcille, who is one of six children who are all home schooled, put his full bag down while he played with his siblings and friends in the playground, but the next moment it was gone.

Colmcille’s mother, Clare Mulvany-Carberry, said: “He was absolutely devastated, he has never had £40 before. He was beside himself with sorrow and sobbed all evening. It thoroughly blighted the poor boy’s birthday.”

A friend tried to help by making laminated posters and hanging them around the park with a photograph of the missing item, a sign saying ‘have you seen this bag?’ and a contact number.

Mrs Mulvany-Carberry said she posted what had happened on various forums and that the story has since moved on from one of gall to one of human kindness. She was surprised when different members of the Chiswick W4 forum were touched by her message and decided to cheer Colmcille up by donating money to replace his birthday cash.

Mrs Mulvany-Carberry has written on the forum that she does not know how to express her thanks enough.

She said it was a delight to meet Pete Mayes, whose idea it was originally, and thank him in person, but there are people who gave anonymously too.

She said: “I hope it will suffice to know that your gesture has made a great imprint on my son’s heart. He is truly grateful, astonished and really tickled. I hadn’t told Colmcille about what was afoot on the forum, so when Pete arrived with a stack of envelopes and a beautifully wrapped present containing a notebook and lovely old fashioned colouring pencils, he was puzzled and thought they must be from his buddies. He later told me he realised they were all from friends he hasn’t met yet.”

The total gathered came to £90 and Colmcille plans to treat his friends to hot chocolate and cake in Acton Park cafe.