Belfast Olympic boxing medal winner Michael Conlan has fallen victim to pickpockets.
The boxer's mobile phone — containing priceless photos of the London Games — was pickpocketed while he was signing autographs in Dublin.
Some of the photos included Michael with legendary sprinter Usain Bolt, a video of his house in the Olympic village and photos of the flyweight boxer standing on the podium receiving his Olympic bronze medal.
The young west Belfast man had been on a night out in Dublin following the official Olympic homecoming celebrations with his Ireland team-mates on Wednesday.
The athletes ended up in Copper Face Jack’s nightclub on Harcourt Street in the city centre later that night and his phone went missing after he left the club.
“All the athletes were there and it was the last time that they'll see each other,” his father John said yesterday. “They hadn't been able to socialise before that because the Olympics was an alcohol-free zone.
“This was the first time they were able to have a normal night out and relax,” he explained.
At the end of the night, the 20-year-old used his iPhone 4S in the bar upstairs and then left the club with the other boxers.
A crowd gathered around them outside on the street and he was signing some autographs when a man jumped out in front of him. It's at this point that he believes his phone was taken from his pocket, his father said.
Conlan said that his phone had a photo of a girl as a screensaver and had a “nice red cover”.
He revealed that the nightclub had been “very good” and staff thoroughly searched the premises and also viewed CCTV footage, but without success. “The phone itself can be replaced, but he had a lot of personal photos,” said Mr Conlan.
“He was star-struck at the Olympics — it was a fantastic experience for him,” he said.
He had sent some of the photos on to family members and posted others on Twitter, but many of the rest are lost unless the phone is found.
Phone numbers for valuable contacts in boxing circles stored on the phone have also been lost.
“It took years for him to get all those numbers,” said Mr Conlan.
He holds out little hope that the phone will show up, but asked people to be vigilant in case anyone takes a phone to be unlocked.
Mr Conlan said that the day of the homecoming event in Dublin had been “amazing”.
He added: “Michael was shell-shocked at the amount of people who had turned out.“
Flyweight Michael Conlan is a 20-year-old boxer from west Belfast. Representing Team Ireland, he won a bronze medal at the London Olympics. He trains at St John Bosco club on the Falls Road.