IRL-KERRY-L ArchivesArchiver > IRL-KERRY > 2004-06 > 1087574087
From: "Kerry Kate" <>
Subject: Romantic/O'Sullivan Lispole Co. Kerry
Date: Fri, 18 Jun 2004 08:54:47 -0700
This nice story from The Kerryman.
O'Sullivan name of Lispole.
Rather ironic, someone on the Kerry Queries just posted
a query seeking O'Sullivans of Lispole.
Don't you just love those stories. I threw five little bottles with notes
into the Columbia River years ago. No news yet.*gr*
Are you the Breda from Lispole that answered Frank’s message in a bottle
way back in 1945?
By Donal O’Reilly
> IT’S a tale of war and romance stretching back to the days just after
> War Two, it all started with a lonely US soldier throwing a message in a
> bottle into the sea one Christmas Day, it propelled a Lispole woman into
> international headlines and perhaps readers of The Kerryman can now help
> bring it to a poignant ending.
> It was during the festive season of 1945 that the then 21 year old
> Frank Hayostek, no doubt missing his family and friends over Christmas,
> scribbled a few lines on a piece of paper and placed it in an aspirin
> before lobbing it over the side of his ship, the SS James Ford Rhodes,
> the North Atlantic.
> While the war was over, Christmas Day found Frank and his comrades some
> miles from the American coast as they returned from France, having picked
> 600 GIs who had been involved in the fighting in Europe.
> That simple act of a homesick young man was to make both him and a Lispole
> milkmaid the centre of considerable global attention and speculation
> the 1940s and 50s, but there the story appeared to end until it was
> revived in the Johnstown Tribune-Democrat, Frank’s local newspaper.
> The article was brought to The Kerryman’s attention by Patricia Dolan, an
> American currently spending the summer in her holiday home in Dunquin.
> A native of Pittsburgh, Patricia explained, “My son saw the article in the
> paper and sent it to me because he thought I might be able to help find
> Breda while I’m in Kerry. Frank is an old man now and I’m sure he’d love
> find out what happened to her. In his letter, reproduced in the article,
> Frank doubted if it would ever be found, but asked that if it is, the
> discovering it should reply to him.
> He wrote, “I have no reward to offer the finder of this bottle as I am
> a plain American with just enough to appreciate life and happiness.
> “However, friendship is the only reward I can guarantee you.”
> The fickle currents carried Frank’s letter some 3000 miles before
> it on a beach near Lispole where it was found by 18 year-old Breda O’
> Sullivan as she walked her dog.
> Breda did as Frank requested and replied with a six page letter, something
> which started a chain of correspondence which eventually led to Frank
> travelling to Kerry in 1952, having saved $350 for the privilege.
> Astutely, Frank had predicted in his original letter that the situation
> eventually come to the attention of the newspapers, and by the time he
> to Ireland, he and Breda were something of a global cause celébré.
> In fact, it appears that the press would have liked nothing more than the
> sound of wedding bells. It didn’t come to that, with Frank suggesting in
> Democrat-Tribune article that the publicity may have had impeded any
> possible romance.
> “Breda was a shy girl and three years younger than me. All the publicity
> too much. She loved Ireland and she would have never left her mother, who
> had no intention of coming to the United States,” he muses.
> While the exchange of letters between Lispole and the United States
> continued during the 1950s, Frank did eventually found love rather closer
> home and married Helen in 1958. The following year, he received his last
> letter from Breda. Sadly, Helen died in 1965. Now, Frank admits that he
> still thinks of the young Lispole milkmaid every day and finds himself
> wondering what happened to her.
> “I sent a final letter, but never got a reply,” he told The
> “I heard she got married too and we just lost touch over the years. I
> wonder if she is still alive.”
> If anyone knows of what happened to Breda O’Sullivan over the intervening
> years and can perhaps help to bring the story to a conclusion, they can
> contact Donal O’Reilly at The Kerryman on (066) 7145520 or at