Australian police search for missing Irish tourist

POLICE in Australia were last night searching for an Irishman who went missing along the Byron Bay coastline.

Niall McDonough, described by New South Wales Police as a 30-year-old Irish tourist, is feared missing at sea after he went for a walk on Friday night and did not return.

Mr McDonough was last seen by his girlfriend at their youth hostel at about 9pm on Friday. He left to go for a walk and at 7am local time on Saturday some of his belongings were found on a chair near the Cape Byron Lighthouse. Police in Australia said it is understood Mr McDonough has a medical condition which increases their concerns for his welfare.

Police began a search of the headland, popular with tourists, as well as the surrounding waterways. A local helicopter is assisting the search. That search was continuing yesterday. The Department of Foreign Affairs here said it was aware of the situation regarding a missing Irishman in Australia and that consular assistance was being provided and that Mr McDonough’s family had been notified. However, a spokesperson said she did not know how long Mr McDonough had been in Australia or what part of Ireland he comes from.

The Irishman is described as being 5ft 6in in height, of medium build, and with ginger hair. When last seen he was wearing grey jeans and runners.

He is the second Irishman to go missing in Australia in the past two months.

Backpacker Sean Walsh, a 26-year-old from Dungarvan in Co Waterford, failed to turn up at the airport in Sydney for a flight home.

The biomedical engineer was last seen in Randwick in Sydney, and his family have set up a website – seanwalshmissing.com – in a bid to find him.

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