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Irish groom missing as Greek wildfires rage

An Irish couple celebrating their honeymoon in Greece have been caught up in the wildfire tragedy that left the country devastated.

Fears are growing for Brian O’Callaghan-Westropp who has gone missing, having become separated from his new wife as they tried to escape the fires in the coastal town of Mati.

He married Zoe Holohan in Ireland last week before the couple flew to Greece over the weekend.

Ms Holohan, who works in the advertising department of the Sunday World newspaper, was hospitalised with burns.

Her husband has not been seen since they became separated in Mati.

The small community, a popular resort for Greek holidaymakers around 30km east of Athens, is one of the areas worst hit by the devastating blazes.

At least 74 people have been killed and dozens more injured. The figure is expected to rise.

The Republic’s Department of Foreign Affairs said that it was providing consular assistance to a number of Irish people who had been caught up in the fires which have spread across various parts of Greece.

However, the department would not comment on specific incidents in which Irish people were affected.

Mr O’Callaghan-Westropp, who lives in Dublin, became separated from his wife on Monday afternoon.

It is understood they were travelling in a vehicle when they were forced to flee due to an approaching wildfire.

Ms Holohan suffered burn injuries but managed to escape to a nearby beach. She was last night being treated in an Athens hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.

Relatives were yesterday making their way to Greece after being made aware of the incident. They are expected to arrive in Athens today.

Colleagues of Ms Holohan at Independent News and Media (INM), which also publishes this newspaper, were left shocked and upset as news of the incident emerged yesterday.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has said the country is “going through an unspeakable tragedy” and has declared a three-day national mourning period.

It is the worst incident of wildfire to hit the popular holiday destination in more than a decade.

President Michael D Higgins said that he had written to the country’s president and expressed his condolences as well as solidarity with Greece on behalf of the Irish people.

Belfast Telegraph

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