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'We won't leave Dublin without him': Family of missing Jón Jónsson arrive in Ireland to step up search

Jón Jónsson was last seen near his Dublin hotel at 11am on 9 February.

THE FAMILY OF an Icelandic man who went missing in Dublin almost two weeks ago have arrived in Ireland to intensify search efforts for him.

41-year-old Jón Jónsson arrived in Ireland to attend a poker tournament with his fiancée on 8 February.

He was last seen at around 11am on Saturday 9 February near the Bonnington Hotel in Whitehall, where he had been staying, while his fiancé had coffee in the hotel bar.

It is not known why Jón left the hotel, and despite a number of garda appeals, there have been no leads in the case.

Twelve members of Jón’s family have travelled from Iceland to step up efforts to find him, and say they will widen the search area in coming days. “It’s a really hard time for the whole family but we find big strength in staying together and comforting each other and trying to stay positive,” Jón’s brother David told TheJournal.ie.

He said that a search and rescue specialist from Iceland had helped the family to map out a large area in which to search. They have been going through this area and hanging up posters to raise awareness.

“When he was reported missing, we hoped that it would be solved very soon,” David said on Today With Sean O’Rourke on RTÉ Radio 1 this morning.

“Two days later we decided to fly out here, and we hoped things would work out very quickly.”

David said that his family believed his brother was in good physical and mental health prior to his disappearance, and added that his behaviour was out of character.

“He works as taxi driver at home, and if he’s working late at night he always lets family know [that he's safe].”

He also thanked the people of Ireland for their assistance in the search so far, and vowed not to return home without Jón, saying “we are not leaving Dublin without our brother”. David told TheJournal.ie that Dubliners have been providing them with transportation and assistance during the search. He said that the gardaí had been very helpful towards the family also.

A large-scale search for Jón will take place on Saturday from 9.30am, when it is expected the operation will widen outside of initial search areas. The details of the search will be announced tomorrow.

“We are extremely tired but just trying to stay optimistic and fighting and working. The horrible thing is the unknowing part, but that gives us the power to keep searching,” David told this publication. “We have to find him. When a loved one goes missing, you push everything aside and you focus on what is important – and that is family.”

Gardaí renewed their appeal to the public for information in the case last night, when a garda spokesman said Jón’s family was anxious to make contact with him and were concerned for his well-being.

Jón is described as being 6 foot tall, of medium build, with short brown hair, and was wearing a black padded jacket when he went missing.

“Anyone who has seen Jón or who can assist in locating him is asked to contact Ballymun Garda Station on 01 6664400, The Garda Confidential Telephone Line 1800 666 111 or any Garda Station,” a garda spokesman said.

Jón’s family have also set up a funding page to help them financially as they attempt to locate him in Ireland.

- Additional reporting Aoife Barry

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