Search for Irish fan to resume tomorrow

Tue, Jun 19, 2012, 01:00

The search in the northern Polish city of Bydgoszcz for a young Irish soccer fan who went missing at the weekend has ended for the day.

James Nolan (21), an environmental engineering student from Blessington, Co Wicklow, was last seen in the early hours of Sunday morning in the city while out socialising with friends he had travelled with to the Euro 2012 championships.

The Irish ambassador to Poland travelled to the city this afternoon and met with local civil and police officials.

Ambassador Eugene Hutchinson commended the local search effort which has involved over 100 police officers and members of the local community.

"I have been extremely impressed by the intensive and very professional approach to investigating this case," he said.

Mr Nolan was in the company of 10 Irish friends which broke up in the Old Town area of Bydgoszcz in the early hours of Sunday morning. The last confirmed sighting of him was between 1am and 1.30am.

Mr Nolan's friends, the youngest of whom is 20 years of age, have remained in the area to assist in the search.

Police reviewed CCTV footage and searched a number of locations including a wooded area around the hotel where Mr Nolan and his friends were staying. Police divers using specialist equipment searched stretches of the Brda river which runs through the city and are expected to resume their search tomorrow morning.

Hotels, guesthouses, local hospitals and other healthcare facilties have all been checked and an extensive social media campaign is under way, with thousands visiting a Facebook page and retweeting requests on Twitter for information on Mr Nolan's whereabouts.

Poland's missing persons agency has featured his photograph and is carrying a description on its website, Zaginieni.pl .

Mr Nolan, who is studying at Tallaght Institute of Technology, travelled to Poland on the Thursday before Ireland played Croatia in Poznan. He attended the subsequent match against Spain in Gdansk and was en route with friends to Poznan when they stopped for an overnight stay in Bydgoszcz.

They were due to be joined in Poznan by members of Mr Nolan's Blessington Football Club, for Ireland's final Euro 2012 fixture against Italy on Monday night.

Members of Mr Nolan's family which has appealed to the public for information about his whereabouts, are expected in Bydgoszcz tomorrow.

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