Family fly out after teacher goes missing
French police launch search for young Co Clare woman who failed to show up for work at school
The family of a young Irish woman missing in France flew out to Lyons yesterday as they appealed for more information over her whereabouts.
Eimear Noonan, from Caher, Co Clare, has not been seen since last Wednesday afternoon. The alarm was raised after she failed to show up for work on Thursday and Friday without contacting her employers.
The 21-year-old had moved to France at the end of August to take up a job as a teacher in an elementary school in Annonay, a small town 75km south of Lyons, near the French Alps.
Local authorities have launched a search for Ms Noonan and have focused on the fact her bag, purse and identification were all discovered in her apartment after she was reported missing.
They are said to be examining a theory that she may have left her apartment in Annonay to exercise before she failed to return. They have appealed for witnesses and anyone with any information to come forward.
The family, through Eimear's brothers and a number of cousins and close friends, have issued statements and photographs of her online appealing for further information.
The news that Ms Noonan, who had just graduated from University College Cork before moving to France, is missing has left the Caher community in a state of shock.
Locals rallied together in the Killanena parish church last night. A special mass was held for those who wished to show their support for Eimear and her family.
Parish priest Fr Joe McMahon said Eimear was well known locally and people were praying that she would be found safe and well.
"We just want to pray for the family and be in solidarity with them," he said.
"We have expressed our concern and support and we all want to just continue doing that. Getting together helps people to comfort each other a little bit."
Local Fianna Fail councillor Pat Hayes lives near the Noonan family's home. He said that he was very concerned over Eimear's whereabouts and added that the entire community had been in a state of shock ever since news of her disappearance broke.
"There is real concern in the community for a lovely young woman. All our hopes and prayers are with the family at this time and hopefully there will be a successful outcome," he said.
"The community here is absolutely numbed. She is well liked and she has lots of friends here."