Wednesday 21 February 2018

Polish Mayor wants minute’s silence for James Nolan

James Nolan
Rafal Bruski
Family of James Nolan arriving in Bydgoszcz last night. Photo: Mark Condren
Family of James Nolan arriving in Bydgoszcz last night. Photo: Mark Condren
A coffin containing James Nolan's body is loaded into a coroner's van
Police divers bring in a body found floating in a canal in Bydgoszcz, northern Poland, Wednesday. Officials say the documents of missing 21-year-old Irish soccer fan James Nolan were found on the body. Photo: AP


THE MAYOR of the Polish city of Bydgoszcz has written to UEFA seeking a minute’s silence before one of the Euro 2012 quarter finals in memory of tragic Irish fan James Nolan whose body was found yesterday.

Rafal Bruski has contacted UEFA chief Michael Platini and the Department of Foreign Affairs said today that it hoped his request will be given every consideration by the soccer body.

Mr Bruski told"In view of the tragic event that has taken place in Bydgoszcz, on behalf of all inhabitants of my city, I would like to express sorrow and solidarity with the family of James Nolan, the Irish people and the fans of Euro 2012.”

“We are in constant contact with the Embassy of Ireland, providing logistical, psychological, organizational and linguistic support to the Irish side.

“We also intend to commemorate this tragic event within the streets of our city.

“Let us pay tribute to the Irish - the best supporters of the tournament, and let it be a day of solidarity with those who are the most affected by this untimely death. I address this appeal not only to the inhabitants of Bydgoszcz, but to all Poles," he said.

A spokesman for the Mayor said today that the city of Bydgoszcz would commemorate James Nolan with Irish flags in the main square as an act of respect.

Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore said it was with great sadness he received confirmation from the Ambassador in Poland the remains were of the young Irish football supporter.

He was travelling with friends between the Irish matches in Gdansk and Poznan when he vanished.

"I wish to offer my sincerest condolences to James' parents, family and friends at this very difficult time," said Mr Gilmore.

Three members of the 21-year-old's family flew out to Poland last night to formally identify the remains.

The Irish Ambassador to Poland, Eugene Hutchinson, and a senior Garda also travelled to the city to work with local civil and police officials.

"Ambassador Hutchinson is remaining with the family members in Bydgoszcz and our Embassy in Warsaw and Consular officials in Dublin will be providing all possible assistance so that James' remains can be returned to his family in Ireland as soon as possible," added Mr Gilmore, foreign affairs minister.

"I wish to express my deepest thanks to the Polish authorities, in particular the emergency services, search teams and the people of Bydgoszcz for all their efforts to find James.

"Throughout the Euro 2012 championship Irish fans in Poland received a warm and generous welcome.

"But, in particular, the solidarity and support we have received since James was reported missing has been extraordinary and I am deeply grateful."

Football chiefs expressed their sincere condolences to the family and friends of the Republic of Ireland supporter.

Paddy McCaul, President of the Football Association of Ireland (FAI), said: "In common with all supporters we are deeply saddened by this tragic loss.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this difficult time."

John Delaney, FAI chief executive, added: "We offer our sincere condolences to James' parents, his brother and sister and his friends.

"We all feel their heartbreak at this tragedy.

"May he rest in peace."

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