Saturday 22 September 2018

'Please just be safe' - family's plea over Irish man missing in Vienna

Ross Hanlon and his girlfriend Kelly, who begged him to make contact and get home safely
Ross Hanlon and his girlfriend Kelly, who begged him to make contact and get home safely

Laura Lynnott

The family of a young Irish man who has gone missing in Austria have issued a fresh appeal over his whereabouts, and said they will do "anything and everything" they can to get him back.

Ross Hanlon (21), from Athboy, Co Meath, went missing from outside a nightclub where he had been socialising with his friends, at around 2am on Friday.

He had travelled to Vienna on a city break, following the completion of his college exams.

He had become separated from his two friends, who he had been socialising with during the night out.

Mr Hanlon is a business student at Dundalk Institute of Technology.

His family and friends have been unable to contact him since he went missing in the early hours of Friday morning.

They are currently in Vienna searching for him.

The family have been in Austria since Saturday morning.

They met with the Irish ambassador to Austria yesterday, and they put up posters around the city, appealing for help in finding him, yesterday afternoon.

The family are hopeful that further CCTV footage from the area where he went missing could help to establish the young man's whereabouts.

His mobile phone was last active shortly after 4.30am on Friday.

The family are also regularly liaising with the Austrian authorities.

They have also spoken on Austrian television and radio in an attempt to make the public aware of the situation.

Mr Hanlon's girlfriend, Kelly, has issued a heartfelt plea for him to make contact and to get home safely.

"Ross, I'll do anything and everything I can to get you back home safe, you're my best friend," she said.

"I need you, I love you with all my heart, please just be safe," she added.

The young man's older brother Craig said that everyone was praying that he was OK, and that he will turn up soon.

"Ross, I love you, please get in touch with us, and if you are in a bit of bother I'm not going to stop until I find you," Craig added.

A large gathering from Mr Hanlon's hometown came together last night at the local church, where prayers were said for him.

His photo has been shared thousands of times across social media since he was first reported to have gone missing.

A GoFundMe page was set up yesterday by some of his friends in an effort to go to Austria.

They are hoping to be able to take part in the search for Mr Hanlon, who has been described as very popular in Athboy.

More than €7,000 has been raised already.

Mr Hanlon was last seen outside the Flex nightclub, in the Augartenbrücke area of Vienna.

He is described as 5ft 9in and of medium build.

He was wearing a black shirt and blue jeans on the night that he went missing.

Mr Hanlon had travelled to Vienna on Thursday, and was due to return home to Ireland yesterday.

The Department of Foreign Affairs has confirmed that it is aware of the situation, and says that it has been providing consular assistance.

Irish Independent

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