The two girls who placed a message in a bottle off the Canadian Atlantic coast eight years ago have been identified after the bottle was found in Ireland this week.

The girls were twelve years old at the time but are now college students. Charlaine Dalpé and Claudia Garneau are still friends.

Their bottle was found by a nine-year-old Irish boy in County Waterford walking on a beach after a storm.

The girls have been the center of a media flurry since the find and are now invited to Ireland by the Irish Tourist Board as part of the 2013 Gathering.

The message was in a green 7Up plastic bottle and thrown into the sea. They threw it into the waters of the St. Lawrence River outside the Gaspésie town of Grande Vallée, but were frustrated when it kept coming back.

Read more: A message in a bottle arrives after eight year voyage to Ireland

“Maybe it will get free eventually,” Claudia Garneau said she thought at the time. “But we didn’t think it would get all the way there.”

Nine-year-old Oisin Millea found their bottle eight years later. “06/2004,” said the handwritten note, in French. “Hello, we are two girls who had the idea to launch a bottle into the sea. We are called Charlaine and Claudia. We are both 12 and we live in Montreal. We are on vacation in the Gaspésie, in the village of Grande Vallée. ... If you find our bottle, tell us when and how you found our bottle.”

“It’s really special,” said Dalpé. “It’s something you see in a movie, but you don’t think that can happen for real. Especially when you send it into the sea, and it keeps coming back.

“And that it was a child who found it, close to the age we were when we sent it. It’s like a dream.”