Concern gorws for missing woman

Karen Coyles.INBM38-11 228JC
Karen Coyles.INBM38-11 228JC

THE Coastguard and a police helicopter were brought in yesterday (Tuesday) to search for a missing 47-year-old Ballycastle woman.

The woman, named locally as Karen Coyles, was last seen in the town at around 7.30pm on Sunday evening.

SDLP councillor and family friend Donal Cunningham said Ms Coyles’ family and the wider community have been left “numb” by the situation.

“Karen’s family have been very appreciative of the many volunteers, the PSNI and other emergency services who have taken part in the search for her,” he said.

Ms Coyles is a “natural sportswoman” who has dedicated her life to sport and camogie in particular, he said, having served as a player, coach and administrator.

It is understood Ms Coyles – an administrator in the University of Ulster at Coleraine – attended a camogie game in Dublin on Sunday before returning to Ballycastle.

On Monday, the PSNI said they were concerned for the safety of a 47-year-old local woman, believed to be Ms Coyles.

Police believe she may have been driving a silver VW Golf, which is understood to have been parked near the town’s GAA club at about 7.45am on Monday morning.

Yesterday, the Coastguard confirmed that the PSNI had asked them for assistance. Coastal search teams from Ballycastle and Coleraine were brought in, as well as Red Bay RNLI in-shore vessel, a spokeswoman said.

The Coastguard team had completed a sweep of the coast by noon yesterday, while the PSNI also had search teams out, she added.

Police have asked for anyone who may have seen the missing woman, or the car being parked, to contact them in Ballycastle on 0845 600 8000.