Families' desperate pleas for missing Irishman as Nepal death toll passes 4,000
At least one Irish people are still missing after the devastating Nepalese earthquake that has claimed the lives of more than 4,000 people and affected millions more.
There had been concerns for more than a dozen Irish citizens who were caught up in the destruction originally, according to the Red Cross, but by today the number of those still unaccounted for was down to at least one.
Families from across the country had made desperate pleas for anyone who has seen their loved ones to get in touch.
The Department of Foreign Affairs said it is still trying to make contact with 10 Irish citizens in the area.
Among the missing last night was Thomas Drumm (55) from Co Monaghan whose cousin David said the family were “very concerned” for his welfare.
“I had been keeping regular contact with him the last few weeks. I had exchanged email with him on Wednesday and was expecting further communication from him but have heard nothing,” David said.
“He had asked to be kept up to date with something which I have been doing, but I have had no response.”
"Thomas is an intelligent guy, he knows the world," he told RTE Radio One's Sean O'Rourke this morning.
"If he is among the devastation and he is okay, he would be chipping in and helping out.
"We've been in touch with the Red Cross and he's registered so if he's okay, we can let the system know he is safe and well, we're hoping for that.
"But as time goes on we're getting anxious."
The family of Ciaran Sands in Dundalk were today very relieved to hear that he is safe in Nepal after he got a line out to relatives.
"We haven't managed to speak to him yet but he has made contact and we are happy that he is safe. Maybe we can catch up on some much-needed sleep now," said Ciaran's sister Ailish.
Word also came through today that Dublin-born Madelana Ryan was also safe.
She had emigrated many years ago to Australia and was on holiday with her husband Chris Sharp when the earthquake struck.
"Madelana is my first cousin and although I haven't seen her in years we still keep in touch via social media and I'm happy to say she has made contact to say they are safe," said Gary Ryan from the UK.
Earlier, fears had mounted for Sinead Nic Cionna (31) from Monaghan, who had been in the area with her Canadian boyfriend Bert Berry.
But Sinead’s sister Siobhan last night told the Irish Independent she had turned up, with just some “minor injuries”.
There was also delight for the family of Jackie Bushe (54), a teacher from Donegal town, who was able to post on Facebook that she was alive and well yesterday.
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Also accounted for is Cliodhna Cork (22) from Dublin. A family member said she had been in touch and was unharmed.
The Department of Foreign Affairs said about 120 Irish citizens had been caught up in the 7.8 magnitude quake that has destroyed vast swathes of Nepal.
Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan yesterday pledged €1m in emergency funding in addition to the €3m pledged by the EU as aid and humanitarian workers flood into Nepal.
The €1m in funding will provide assistance including food, shelter, water, hygiene and basic medical supplies.
Mr Flanagan said efforts would continue to assist all 120 Irish citizens in Nepal.
“Communications remain difficult, and some citizens are believed to be in remote areas, so it may be several days before all citizens can be contacted.”