He was identified by British police, less than 24 hours after his disappearance, as he attempted to board a Eurostar train to France at Waterloo station yesterday afternoon.
Fifteen-year-old Rory Stephens from Killeelymore, Kilcolgan, fled home sometime early on Tuesday morning .
“He left us a brief note. It read: ‘I’m heading off on an adventure ... there’s nothing to worry about ... nobody should feel upset ... I will definitely come back in a year or two’,” said the boy’s father, Pat.
There was nothing in the boy’s demeanour to suggest anything was wrong prior to his disappearance, Mr Stephens said.
The note was discovered in the boy’s room when his mother went to call him early on Tuesday morning.
He was then reported to have been last seen near home at a bus stop in the Clarinbridge area at 7am.
The couple, who have another son, the missing boy’s twin, Robert, were yesterday in the process of distributing posters bearing Rory’s description and contact telephone numbers when he was found.
“He had no passport, no proper identification and only €100 in cash,” his mother Patsy explained.
Yesterday, while a 12-strong force of gardaí were involved in the search which was also assisted by local people, British police stopped the boy as he was attempting to board the Eurostar to France at the busy Waterloo station in London.
“The police said he was safe and well, we are all very relieved,” Patsy Stephens said.