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Thursday 18 September 2014

Family appeal for help in search for missing Irish man in France

Vincent Walsh was walking the Camino de Santiago on the France-Spain border alone

Published 29/07/2014 | 14:24

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Vincent Walsh

AN IRISH family have issued a desperate appeal for information on a 27 year old man who vanished without trace while walking the Camino de Santiago on the France-Spain border.

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The appeal was issued after Vincent Walsh from Cork failed to contact his family since July 19 last.

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.

He was to link up with the friend this week in Italy but they never heard from Vincent.

His family said they are very worried because Vincent is a keen social media user and was posting daily updates on Facebook about his trek from France across the Pyrenees and into Spain before heading to Santiaga de Compostella.

But nothing has been heard since July 19.

“We are very concerned and we would appeal to anyone who may have information about Vincent’s whereabouts or who may have seen him on the Camino to contact us,” his uncle, Maurice, told Independent.ie.

The family are hoping that Irish holidaymakers in the general area may recognise Vincent from the photos released and have information on him.

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 have contacted the Gardai and the Department of Foreign Affairs about their concerns.

There are absolutely no indications of what may have happened to the young man.

The French police have now been alerted and they are officially treating Mr Walsh as a missing person.

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

The Irish embassies in both France and Spain are liaising over the matter.

Mr Walsh travelled to France on July 17 when he flew from Shannon to Paris.

He then travelled by train to south of France and began his solo trek.

His brother, Frank, said staying out of contact with his family is very much out of character for Vincent.

“Vincent always stays in touch with his family,” he said.

“He is an experienced hiker and really loves outdoor pursuits. We hope that Vincent may just have lost his phone and we know from other people on the Camino that Internet coverage can be intermittent in some areas,” he added.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Maurice Walsh on (086) 3479215 or Monica Walsh on (086) 0282245.

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