Relief as grandfather with dementia found safe in Spain
A MISSING man was found at a Spanish airport almost an hour's drive from where he disappeared last week.
Grandfather Liam Cooney (64), who suffers from dementia, was found at Alicante Airport yesterday after going missing in the resort of Benidorm early last Saturday.
His family found him safe and well after the Irish Embassy phoned them and said a man fitting his description had been found.
His son Liam said he was "over the moon" when he arrived and found his father.
He could not believe that his father had somehow made the trip to the airport after going missing just yards from the hotel the family were staying in.
Mr Cooney was confused and bruised and had a shoe, €50 and rings missing, but his family were just glad to have him back.
"It's a weight off my shoulders. We don't know how he got there or who found him and he may have been mugged," said his son Liam.
"I tried to ask him but he doesn't know. We brought him back to the hotel and gave him something to eat and some medication."
Mr Cooney, from Cabra in Dublin, went missing just 100 yards from his hotel after a night out with his son and friends.
He had no identification or medication with him when he was last seen by Liam at 4am on Saturday morning.
He travelled to the Costa del Sol for the weekend with his son and 18 friends and relatives.
Other family members were planning to fly over yesterday to help with the search.
In a desperate bid to find him, they handed out flyers to departing passengers at Dublin Airport over the weekend.
Mr Cooney and his son were returning to the Sol Pelicamos Ocas hotel when he went missing. The group had only arrived in Benidorm at 6pm the previous day.
"We were only about 100 yards from the hotel and I had to use the toilet," said Liam.
"I told him to wait where he was. 'Okay, yeah', he said. Two minutes later I came back and he was gone."