Search for missing tourist

Donegal Mountain Rescue Team, the Sligo air rescue helicopter, the coast guard and local volunteers were last night searching for an American woman who has been missing in the Glencolmcille area.

Donegal Mountain Rescue Team, the Sligo air rescue helicopter, the coast guard and local volunteers were last night searching for an American woman who has been missing in the Glencolmcille area.

Searches were ongoing in the hills around Glencolmcille, the shoreline and at sea.

The last confirmed sighting of 41-year-old Kelly Jones, who is from Charleston, South Carolina, was at 2.30pm on Friday in the Malinmore hostel where she was staying. The 5’6” redhead, who was travelling on her own, had been in the Glencolmcille area for a number of days before she went missing. Garda Sgt. Tony Arnold of Carrick Garda Station said the woman was properly attired for hill-walking and well-equipped when last seen.

“Ms Jones did not tell anyone what her specific plans were for that day, but, from the conversations that she had with local people, we understand that she was a keen and experienced hillwalker. Obviously we are very concerned for her safety and well-being, as she was not due to check out from the hostel until Saturday morning and her belongings are still there. We are fairly sure that she would have been travelling on foot, as she did not have a car.”

He added: “We have received reports of two or three possible sightings of Ms Jones, the last one was near Glencolmcille at 5.30pm on Saturday.

“We believe she was wearing dark clothing, hill-walking gear, possibly a green top and mountain boots or runners. She may have been wearing a red cap.

“We would ask anyone who thinks they may have seen her to contact us at either Carrick on 973 9002 or the District office in Glenties on 955 1108.”

Cllr. Brendan Byrne was among the local volunteeers assisting with the search. “Everyone wants to do whatever they can,” he said yesterday. “The Sliabh Liag Hillwalkers were out in full force over the weekend. Although many of them had to return to their jobs this morning, there are still a lot of local volunteers out there. We just hope and pray she is found safe and sound.”