Fears grow for Ulster nightclub hostess Michaella - missing on party island Ibiza
A young nightclub hostess from north Belfast has been reported missing in Ibiza for the past 11 days.
Concern is mounting over the whereabouts of Michaella McCollum Connolly, who was working at a popular nightspot in the San Antonio holiday resort, as her family launched a Facebook appeal.
A spokesman for the Republic of Ireland's Department of Foreign Affairs last night confirmed it had been in contact with the woman's family and was providing consular assistance in locating her.
The dancer, who is in her early 20s, had been living on the Crumlin Road before setting off on her own in June to work over the summer.
She had been working as a waitress at Thompsons Garage nightclub in Belfast city centre over the weekends, but had not been in recent contact with family or friends.
Michaella had turned off her phone and had not been on Facebook recently, said her sister Samantha, who spoke of her family's concern on Facebook on Tuesday evening.
She appealed for help from her friends in contacting her in a post which has since been widely shared on social media.
In calling for help, her sister said that Michaella was unlikely not to have been in contact every few days, and that the "proper authorities" had been told and were helping to determine her whereabouts.
It stated: "Michaella comes from a very close and loving family and we are all extremely worried and concerned that she hasn't been in contact and that we cannot contact her."
Samantha said that there were unconfirmed reports that Michaella, or Kayla as she is known in the entertainment business, may have been in Madrid or Barcelona.
One of her friends, Sophia Turner (20), from Carrickfergus, said: "She's a lovely girl, very fun-loving and independent. I just hope she's all right.
"She was so excited about going to Ibiza but I said to her to make sure and keep herself safe. It's not something that I think I would do on my own."
Sophia added: "I can't believe the response her sister's appeal for information has received on Facebook. The picture that I shared of her on my own page has had 12,000 views already and over 200 shares.
"I just hope it helps and she's back home again soon."
Staff at Thompsons Garage were said to be shocked over the reports of the missing popular employee and club PR.
Fellow worker Jessica Molyneaux (19), from Glengormley, was publicising the family appeal over social media yesterday.
"Everyone at Thompsons just can't believe it. We are shocked."
Michaella's sister on Facebook: "Michaella comes from a very close and loving family and we are all extremely worried and concerned that she hasn't been in contact and that we cannot contact her."
Friend Sophia Turner (20) from Carrickfergus: "She's a lovely girl, very fun-loving and independent. I hope she's all right. She's very mature and independent for her age. She was so excited about going to Ibiza."