Saturday 24 August 2019

Heartbroken parents offer €10,000 reward to find Nora

Belfast business donates money in hunt for teen

Devastated: Sebastien and Meabh Quoirin, parents of 15-year-old Nora, speak at a news
conference in Seremban, Malaysia. Photo: Royal Malaysia Police/Handout via REUTERS
Devastated: Sebastien and Meabh Quoirin, parents of 15-year-old Nora, speak at a news conference in Seremban, Malaysia. Photo: Royal Malaysia Police/Handout via REUTERS

Catherine Wylie and Ellie Cullen

The family of missing Nora Quoirin have offered a reward of more than €10,000 for information leading to the return of the Irish teenager.

More than 300 search and rescue personnel have been involved in the hunt for 15-year-old Nora, who was travelling on an Irish passport when she disappeared from a Malaysian jungle resort on Sunday, August 4.

The reward of 50,000 Malaysian ringgit - approximately €10,600 - was donated by an anonymous Belfast business, Nora's family said.

Her aunt set up an online fundraising page in the aftermath of her disappearance, which has so far collected more than €97,000.

A second campaign created by Nora's uncle to collect money now totals more than €15,000.

In a statement yesterday, Nora's family said: "Nora is our first child. She has been vulnerable since the day she was born. She is so precious to us and our hearts are breaking.

"We are appealing to anyone who has information about Nora to help us find her.

"The police have been working extremely hard to bring Nora home.

"In order to help their investigation, we have decided to offer a reward: 50,000R has been donated by an anonymous Belfast-based business for any information that directly helps us to find Nora.

"If you have any information at all, please call the police hotline here on 01112285058 or email from outside Malaysia."

Yesterday morning, a total of 348 personnel were deployed in the search operation, the largest team so far, according to Malaysia's 'Malay Mail' newspaper.

Malaysian police set up a new hotline over the weekend, while voluntary hikers also joined the search for Nora, who was born with the brain condition holoprosencephaly and has special needs.

The Associated Press reported that a Malaysian shaman has joined in the search, adding that police released a video showing a shaman with a white skullcap performing rituals in the forest.

Nora's parents, her Belfast mother Meabh and her French father Sebastien Quoirin, have lived in London for 20 years, and thanked those involved in looking for her.

"You have given up your time especially at a special festival time," said Ms Quoirin, referring to Hari Raya Haji, the Islamic "festival of sacrifice" celebrations.

In a video on local media, she added: "We want to say thank you to each and every one of you. We know you're searching night and day for Nora.

"We see you working so hard and also praying with us and being with us."

The family have said they remain hopeful after police leading the investigation refused to rule out a "criminal element".

Gardaí and members of the National Crime Agency (NCA) and the Metropolitan Police are supporting the Malaysian police with the case.

"The National Crime Agency, the Met Police and the Irish police are working together to help and support the Malaysian authorities relating to Nora Quoirin's disappearance," a spokeswoman for the NCA said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Lucie Blackman Trust intelligence on or +44 800 098 8485.

Westlife, who performed in the country last week, asked their fans to help look for the missing teenager.

Irish Independent

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