Hundreds join land and river search for missing student

SEARCHES are to continue this morning for a teenager who has been missing since last being seen in Cork city centre more than four days ago.

Hundreds of volunteers joined emergency services over the weekend in the hope of finding Brían O Tuama, a second-year arts student at University College Cork.

The 19-year-old had been out with friends on Wednesday night and they last saw him outside the McDonald’s restaurant on Daunt Square, at the junction of St Patrick’s Street and Grand Parade, at 2am on Thursday.

It is understood that technology for tracking mobile phones has been used by gardaí in attempt to determine Mr O Tuama’s movements. While he had been texting a friend during the night, no messages or calls are believed to have been made from the phone from around the time he was last seen.

A Garda spokesperson last night offered thanks from the missing man’s family and on behalf of the emergency services to volunteers who helped with search efforts in recent days. They included large numbers of people from around the home-place of Mr O Tuama in Ballyvourney, Co Cork.

“There were more than 500 people on Saturday and Sunday helping out in searches in the city centre, out towards Tivoli on the northside and Blackrock on the southside of the city, and along the River Lee,” he said.

Among the services offering assistance have been Search and Rescue Dogs Association of Ireland, civilian search and rescue groups, private kayakers and local rowing club members. They supported the work of the Civil Defence, divers from An Garda Síochána and the Naval Service and other emergency services.

While the first day of searching on Friday focused on areas from west of the city centre back in towards the city, the efforts have been primarily targeted outward to the east of the city centre over the weekend.

The search parties remained out until darkness fell yesterday and the Garda spokesperson said they expect hundreds to join in again from early this morning, while divers are expected to focus on stretches of the river today.

“We would again appeal for anybody who can help locate this young man to call Anglesea Street station at 021-4522000,” the spokesperson said.

Brían O Tuama is six feet tall and of thin build, with longish dark-brown hair and blue eyes. When last seen, he was wearing a grey Abercrombie hooded top and blue jeans.


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