Magherafelt man helps family of tragic soccer fan

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SOUTH Derry man Eugene Hutchinson is with the family of Irish soccer fan James Nolan whose body has been found in Poland.

Mr Hutchinson, from Magherafelt, who is the Irish Ambassador to Poland, had been spearheading effort to find the 21-year-old environmental engineering student from Wicklow.

He and his friends, who were travelling in a camper van, stopped in the city of Bydgoszcz on the way back from Gdansk to Poznan when Mr Nolan became separated from the group at the weekend.

Members of Mr Nolan’s family flew to Poland on Sunday to help search for him.

The Republic’s Department of Foreign Affairs yesterday confirmed that a body removed by police divers from a canal in Bydgoszcz is that of Mr Nolan’s.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore said the Irish Embassy in Warsaw and consulor officials will provide all possible assistance to the Nolan family so that his remains can be returned home as soon as possible.

Mr Gilmore said: “Throughout the Euro 2012 championship Irish fans in Poland received a warm and generous welcome.

“But, in particular, the solidarity and support we have received since James was reported missing, has been extraordinary and I am deeply grateful.”

Mr Hutchinson was Irish consul general at the time of the September 11 attacks in New York and later became Irish Ambassador to Malaysia.