Search for Irish fan missing in Poland enters third day
Published 19/06/2012 | 05:00
IRISH fans were today urged to keep searching for Wicklow student James Nolan (21) who has been missing for more than 48 hours in Poland.
The Department of Foreign Affairs asked fans, most of whom are departing Euro 2012 today, to keep looking for the third year engineering student as Polish police and his friends continued their search into a third day.
James was last seen between 1-1.30am on Sunday morning at the town of Bydgoszcz, 130km north-east of Poznan.
He had travelled to Poland on June 7 with friends from Blessington in a campervan along with tens of thousands of Ireland fans.
His father last night made an emotional appeal for his son to get in contact with him.
A tearful Jimmy Nolan said warning bells first rang about his son's safety when he did not contact him as promised on Father's Day.
James, a student at Tallaght Institute of Technology, attended the first match in Poznan and then travelled to Gdansk for last week's Spain game.
The group then began returning to Poznan for last night’s Italy fixture, but stopped in a town called Bydgoszcz on Saturday night.
Friends of the family have gathered at the home of his parents Essie and Jimmy, anxiously awaiting news.
His parents said last night they last spoke to him on Saturday and he said he would call for Father's Day yesterday, but did not.
"We were talking to him on Saturday night and he was delighted to have passed his exams and was in great form. He said he would call Father's Day," Mr Nolan said. "I sent him phone credit as he was running low. He had been keeping in contact quite a lot so we are very concerned."
It is believed he was separated from his friends following an altercation with Polish locals and he may have lost his phone.
It is understood a group of around four Irish people, including Mr Nolan, got into a row with locals in the early hours of Sunday.
The Irish dispersed to get away but when they regathered Mr Nolan was missing and has not been seen since. It was reported an Irishman checked into the local hospital with minor injuries that morning, but then checked out. But the name given by the patient was not James Nolan -- but CCTV footage was being examined last night by Mr Nolan's friends to see whether he checked in under a different name.
He was last seen wearing a white T-shirt with a picture of Chuck Norris, dark blue jeans and grey runners.
The Department of Foreign Affairs said Mr Nolan became separated from a group of up to 10 friends with whom he was travelling back from Gdansk to Poznan for last night's game against Italy.
Gardai in Ireland are also trying to pinpoint his mobile phone in the hope of being able to find his exact location in Poland.
Mr Nolan's friends have remained in Bydgoszcz to help in the search for the third year environmental engineering student.
Officials from the Irish consulate in Poznan have been in touch with the local Polish missing person's bureau, which is distributing Mr Nolan's details to the local media.
Social media websites such as Twitter and Facebook are also being used to distribute Mr Nolan's picture and his photo was displayed last night on the big screens in the fanzone area of Poznan and in the stadium.
The Irish fans embassy has also posted pictures of him around Poznan and others have been posted in Bydgoszcz.