Frantic search for missing student

NAVAL divers, special search dogs and up to 100 friends and family members were last night searching for a 19-year-old Cork man who went missing in the early hours of Thursday morning.

Brían O Tuama, a second-year arts student at University College Cork (UCC), failed to return home from a night out with friends.

Gardaí say they are “seriously concerned” for his safety.

Mr O Tuama, a native of Ballyvourney, in Co Cork, had been socialising in Kinsale with other UCC students on Wednesday evening.

They returned by bus to Cork city and went to student nightclub Gorby’s on Oliver Plunkett Street.

Mr O Tuama left and was last seen by three friends just before 2am outside McDonald’s on Daunt Square.

The alarm was raised by his housemates at his student accommodation at Áras Uí Thuama.

Despite a trawl of footage taken from city centre CCTV cameras, gardaí have been unable to trace his movements after the last sighting at Daunt Square.

Mr O Tuama’s phone is uncontactable, but a Garda spokesman said they detected a signal from it about the same time he was last seen.

The Garda spokesman said naval divers were searching the south channel of the Lee but it was proving difficult as the river was in flood.

Search-and-rescue dogs were being mobilised too yesterday to trace the man’s movements around the city.

Yesterday gardaí briefed family and friends who had mobilised for the search.

Friend Tara McGrath said Mr O Tuama had been texting her throughout Wednesday night, but she became worried when the texts stopped after 2am without his saying goodnight. Ms McGrath said many were gearing up for a night search too.

She said she was very worried, but that Mr O Tuama had been “in great form”.

Mr O Tuama’s brother Colmán appealed to anybody who had seen his brother to come forward.

Brían is 6ft 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.

Anyone with information is asked to contact gardaí in Anglesea Street on 021-4522000


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