Body found in search for Irish man

Wed, Jun 20, 2012, 01:00

Police searching for a young Irish football supporter who went missing in the northern Polish city of Bydgoszcz last weekend have recovered a body from a river in the city.

The body has not been formally identified, but it is understood that items matching those belonging to James Nolan (21), an environmental engineering student from Blessington, Co Wicklow, were also recovered.

Local sources indicated the body will not identified until later tonight or early tomorrow morning.

Members of Mr Nolan's family landed at Bydgoszcz airport at about 8.30pm this evening. They were met by Irish Ambassador to Poland Eugene Hutchinson.

The search for Mr Nolan had resumed early this morning with the focus of the search shifting to the river Brdo after a review of CCTV led police to the area.

It is understood that Mr Nolan was identified on footage that showed him walking towards Bydgoszcz Cathedral at 1.46am on Sunday.

Police confirmed at around 11am today that a man's body had been recovered from the water at a marina near the Cathedral.

Local media reported that there was no sign of any injuries on the body, and police believe the man's death was an accident.

Before he went missing, Mr Nolan spent Saturday evening with 10 Irish friends. The group later broke up in the old town area of Bydgoszcz before separately making their way back to their hotel. Mr Nolan was reported missing later on Sunday.

Yesterday, police searched a number of locations, including a wooded area around the hotel where Mr Nolan and his friends were staying.

Hotels, guesthouses, local hospitals and other healthcare facilities were checked, and an extensive social media campaign got under way, with thousands visiting a Facebook page and retweeting requests on Twitter for information on Mr Nolan’s whereabouts.

High-profile figures including former England soccer international and football pundit Gary Lineker and prominent football writer Guillem Balague assisted the campaign.

Poland’s missing persons agency featured his photograph and carried a description on its website.

The Irish ambassador to Poland travelled to the city yesterday and thanked local civil and police officials for their efforts.