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Missing Irish fan's 'row with local men'

AN Irishman missing in Poland since the early hours of Sunday morning may have been involved in an altercation with local youths.

FEARS were growing today for Wicklow native James Nolan (21), who has not been seen in more than two days.

Polish police have trawled hospitals, health centres and other places where they think a missing person might go in the town of Bydgoszcz, but have found no significant leads.


The Herald understands that Mr Nolan, from Blessington, was out with friends in the town, 130km from Poznan, when he disappeared.

It is thought that a minor altercation took place with some locals, at which point the Irish group, including Mr Nolan, dispersed.

However when his friends met up again later, there was no sign of the third-year environmental engineering student. The group had been travelling together in a camper van since the start of the tournament.

"He was separated from his friends, but there is very little information about what might have happened to him next," said a source.

His family are said to be extremely concerned after he failed to make contact on Father's Day.

A spokesperson for the Irish Consulate in Poland said: "We are concerned about him. We've had a couple of other cases of missing people, but they all showed up after a day or two."

An appeal to Irish supporters for information was made during half-time of last night's game against Italy and again after the full-time whistle.

A police spokesperson said they first became aware of his disappearance at about 5pm on Sunday afternoon.

They said that he was last seen wearing a white T-shirt with a picture of Chuck Norris on it, along with dark blue jeans and grey runners.

Some 2,000 Irish fans were using Bydgoszcz's campsites and hotels as a base for the tournament.

Mr Nolan and his friends were among hundreds of fans who stayed overnight in the town on their way from Gdansk to Poznan after the game against Spain.