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TRAGIC JAMES COMES HOME; Body of Irish supporter is brought back from Poland.

Byline: RORY TEVLIN

THE body of tragic soccer fan James Nolan returned home for the last time last night.

The 21-year-old from Blessington, Co Wicklow, drowned in the city of Bydgoszcz during his Euro 2012 trip to Poland.

His body returned to Dublin Airport at around 7.30pm.

His parents Jimmy and Essie were being comforted last night as they prepared for his funeral on Monday.

The Tallaght IT student fell into the River Brda in the early hours of June 17 and his body was discovered in water on Wednesday.

James was found just 500 metres from the bar he had been socialising in with friends earlier that night in the city.

He had travelled to Poland on June 7 with his friends Adam Cullen, Aaron Eustace, Stephen and Aidan Willoughby, Niall Eustace and Eoin Burke.

His brother Andrew, uncle Patrick Nolan, brother-in-law Gareth Dudley and Andrew's girlfriend Sophie Dennison made the heartbreaking journey to formally identify his body earlier this week.

The family also laid flowers at the site where James' body was found following an exhaustive search by local police.

A postmortem carried out on Thursday showed there were no external injuries to the young student. James' body returned home to his native Wicklow last night. His removal will take place from the Nolan family home, to the Church of Our Lady in Blessington at 8.30pm tomorrow.

Family and friends of the 21-year-old, known as "Jam", will say goodbye at his funeral mass at 11am on Monday. Jimmy Nolan has said his family will never get over the loss of the "contented young fella". He added: "We really are going to miss him for the rest of our lives. James' death has left a massive gap in all our lives.

"He enjoyed his studies and he was just a great, contented young fella.

"James' mother is coping at the moment but she is absolutely devastated.

"I don't think we have actually thought about it and it is only beginning to sink in at the moment.

"He was at the beginning of his life."

Bars, cafes and shops in Bydgoszcz have flown Irish flags from their windows since the tragedy to sympathise with popular James' family and friends.

Mayor Rafal Bruski, has also written to Uefa boss Michel Platini to request a minute silence at a quarter-final match at Euro 2012.

The FAI last night said there will be representation for the association at James' funeral on Monday but have not confirmed who will attend.

Irish Mirror Comment: Page 10

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HEART- TRIPJ James 'Jam' Nolan, third from right, in Poland SADJ Body of James Nolan leaves Dublin Airport last night
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EXPO
Date:Jun 23, 2012
Words:445
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