THE SEARCH for missing Limerick man Paddy Rainsford has been stood down after the discovery of a body in County Tipperary.
Mr Rainsford, 86, had been reported missing since 7.30pm Wednesday, 18th December, when he left to play cards but never arrived at his destination.
He was last seen driving a dark blue Skoda Rapid, license plate 161 L 98, and Gardaí had urged people to keep an eye out for both the car and Mr Rainsford.
Paddy Rainsford suffered with dementia, his family had said, and so could appear to be lost or confused.
Mr Rainsford had allegedly phoned a family member to say that his car had broken down and he did not know where he was, but had since become un-contactable with his phone appearing to have run out of battery.
Gardaí, family of Mr Rainsford, and members of the public yesterday searched counties Limerick and Tipperary, as the pensioner, from Annagh, Limerick, had been heading towards Ballina in Tipperary to play cards.
Tragically, a body was disovered in the search late last night in Ballina and it is believed to be that of Mr Rainsford.
The search has now been called off, with a Garda spokesperson confirming:
"Following the discovery of a body in the Ballina area of Tipperary, the missing person search for Paddy Rainsford has been stood down. Gardaí are working closely with the family during this tragic time.
"We would like to thank the public and the media for their assistance in this matter."