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Search 'ramped up' as missing Galway man Stephen Cunningham's shoes and socks found

The 32-year-old was last seen on November 2nd, 2021 at approximately 11am in Galway city

Stephen Cunningham

Neasa Cumiskey

Missing Galway man Stephen Cunningham’s shoes and socks have been found months after he went missing.

The 32-year-old was last seen on November 2nd, 2021 at approximately 11am in Galway city.

Gardaí have “ramped up” the search for Stephen after his belongings were found near Maam Cross on Sunday.

Stephen’s family issued an update following the discovery via Dunmore MacHales GAA and said that they plan to carry out an extensive search of the area this weekend.

They said: “On Sunday we found Stephen’s shoes and socks located in an open area between a small lake and forest not too far from Maam Cross.

“This has bought a renewed focus to the search. The Garda and their teams have been quick to react to our finding and the last couple of days has seen the operation ramp up around the area where his shoes were found.

“We are looking for anyone and everyone willing to search this very marshy forest bogland this weekend as we plan extensive searching of the area on Saturday and Sunday. We will be meeting at the car park in Maam Cross on both days at 9.30am.

“We would like to thank everyone that has supported so far and anyone that can come either day would be greatly appreciated. Wellies, rain gear, high vis and warm clothing is essential.”

Stephen has been missing for five months and his disappearance prompted a major search in Galway.

He was seen in CCTV images at Gannon’s Filling Station in Westport, Mayo on November 5th, and at Dunnes Stores in Briar Hill, Galway the following day on November 6th.

In both images, Stephen is wearing the same outfit: a waist length cream/beige hooded jacket, blue jeans and beige shoes.

Days later on November 10th his car, a silver Volkswagen Passat (08 G 3521), was found parked at Bunnakill, Maam Cross, Galway which gardaí believe had been parked there since November 7th.

A garda spokesperson said at the time: “Gardaí are seeking the public's assistance in tracing the whereabouts of 32 year old Stephen Cunningham who has been missing from Ballybrit, Galway since Tuesday 2nd November, 2021.

“Stephen is described as being approximately 6'2" in height with a thin build, sandy/blond hair and may have a beard and blue eyes.

“Stephen was last seen on 2nd November, 2021 at approximately 11am in Galway city. It is unknown what he was wearing at the time. It is believed that Stephen may be in the Maam Cross/Clifden area of Galway.”

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