Tuesday 27 January 2015

Family's joy as Irishman Vincent Walsh missing for 11 days found

Published 30/07/2014 | 17:19

Vincent Walsh from Cork failed to contact his family since July 19 last
Vincent Walsh from Cork failed to contact his family since July 19 last

AN IRISH man missing for 11 days along the Camino de Santiago on the France-Spain border has been located.

Vincent Walsh from Cork has yet to make contact with his family but his uncle, Maurice, said they are “relieved and delighted” that the 27 year is finally believed to have been found.

“We got a call that a man named Vincent Walsh from Cork has signed in to a hostel in a mountainous part of the French Pyrenees. We believe it just has to be him,” Maurice said.

“Unfortunately, the hostel staff only received his photo from the French gendarmes after Vincent had left. But his photo will be up on the wall at the next hostel when he checks in and hopefully he will ring home straight away.”

It is believed Mr Walsh took some time to camp out in the picturesque Pyrenees – and was unable to contact home because his phone’s battery was dead or he had no signal coverage.

“We’re pretty confident it is him and we’re just so relieved,” Maurice said.

“He probably has no idea that we were so worried about him or trying to contact him to make sure he was alright.”

“We would also like to say a special ‘thank you’ to all the people and particularly the media who helped us with the appeal for information on Vincent’s whereabouts,” he added.

Vincent was trekking the French element of the famous pilgrim route to Santiago de Compostela in Spain since July 17.

The family issued the international appeal after they hadn’t any contact with Vincent since July 19.

The last contact anyone had from the University of Ulster official was on July 21 when he mailed a package of clothing that he didn’t need to a friend in Germany.

Until now, Vincent’s last confirmed location was Privat D’Allier in France.

The young man was walking the Camino alone and had complained a few days earlier about blisters on his feet in the intense heat.

The Walsh family contacted the Gardai and the Department of Foreign Affairs about their concerns given that Vincent would normally ring home every day or so.

French police are officially treating Vincent Walsh as a missing person until he can be contacted.

The Guardia Civil in Spain are also liaising with the French authorities.

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