Gleneely teen found safe in France

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An Inishowen teenager who was reported missing in France after travelling to watch the Republic of Ireland take on Sweden in the European Championship has been found safe and well.

Shortly before noon on Wednesday, June 15, the Irish Embassy in Paris, announced: “Lee McLaughlin has been found safe and well in the last few minutes. Thanks to all.”

Earlier, the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) had appealed to all Republic of Ireland supporters in Paris for EURO 2016, to assist in locating the missing Irish supporter.

Mr McLaughlin (19) from Gleneely in North Inishowen had arrived in Paris on Sunday, June 12, with his father and another family member, and was due to fly back home to Ireland on Tuesday, June 14.

According to the FAI the party went to the Sweden game without incident.

They attended Ireland’s opening Group E match v Sweden at the Stade de France on Monday evening before they returned to their hotel in Montmartre a number of hours after the game.

But sometime before midday on Tuesday Mr McLaughlin was believed to have left the hotel on his own, and had not been seen for almost 24 hours.

After his disappearance became known officials at the highest level got involved in the search.

FAI Chief Executive Officer (CEO) John Delaney got in touch with the McLaughlin family and offered every assistance and support to the family, including the activation of an extensive communication and social media campaign to help locate Lee, which thankfully bore fruit on Wednesday.

The FAI had communicated with the Confederation of Republic of Ireland Supporters Clubs and has sought its help in locating Lee.