A MUSICIAN has said she is “overjoyed” after a violin stolen from her car in Gouldavoher last week was handed into Henry Street Garda Station.
Mystery surrounds the return of Yuki Nishioka’s valuable instrument, which she uses to teach around 300 children in disadvantaged areas of Limerick under the Irish Chamber Orchestra’s “Sing Out With Strings” programme.
Yuki, who is from Japan, said she didn’t know whether her appeal in the media and online for the return of her violin had tugged at the heart strings of the thief. She had been told that a concerned member of the public had handed the instrument in at Henry Street last week.
Roxboro gardai are investigating the theft and could not comment on the circumstances of its return, for which a reward had been offered but has not been claimed.
“All we can say at this point is that the property has been recovered and an investigation is ongoing,” a Garda spokesman said.
Yuki said she was in bed when she got the call that her precious violin had been returned.
“I jumped on my bed and got tears thanking everyone who supported me super-kindly and kept cheering me up,” she said.
While worried the instrument may have been harmed, she was doubly happy to discover it hadn’t a scratch.
“I burst tears when my eyes caught it,” she said.
“I could make a sound with it eventually. It sounded the most sad ever - as if it was also crying, thanking God the tough days were over.”
The violin was of enormous sentimental value to Yuki as it had been a leaving gift from her grandmother before she left Japan for Ireland five years ago.
Playing classical violin from the age of three, Yuki has also fallen in love with Irish traditional music since moving here, and the stolen instrument was with her every step of that journey.
She has now said a big “arigato” to the gardai and everyone who answered Yuki’s lament from far and wide. An appeal was issued in last week’s Limerick Chronicle, on air with Limerick’s Live 95FM and went viral over the internet.
One Limerick woman whose playing has been impaired through a condition in her arm had offered to lend her a violin while another offer to replace the instrument had come in from as far away as the United States.