Search Launched in Dublin Park for Icelander Missing Since 2019

The search continues for Icelander Jón Þröstur Jónsson.

Following two anonymous tips, the police in Ireland now fear that Jón Þröstur Jónsson — who went missing in Dublin in 2019 — met his death after a meeting in Santry Demesne Park. The authorities initiated a search for his remains in the park yesterday. The search is expected to take at least two days. 

Missing without a trace

In February of 2019, 41-year-old Jón Þröstur Jónsson disappeared in Dublin. He was visiting the city with his fiancée to attend a poker tournament and was last seen on surveillance cameras in Whitehall, a northside suburb of Dublin. The police had few leads on Jón Þröstur’s disappearance early on, and very little new information has emerged over the past five years. 

Earlier this week, however, the police in Ireland announced that it had received two anonymous tips — sent to the police and a city priest respectively — suggesting that Jón Þröstur had walked to Santry Demesne Park on the night of his disappearance.

The Irish media outlet Dublin Live reported yesterday that police feared he might have been murdered: “Sources have told Dublin Live that officers now suspect Jón Þröstur Jónsson was killed on the day he vanished in the city five years ago – after a meeting he had organised went wrong. It’s understood officers believe he had lost thousands of euros while playing poker in Dublin before his disappearance – and was meeting someone to get access to more cash.”

Search expected to take at least two days

In light of this new information, the police initiated a search in Santry Demesne Park yesterday. Due to the size of the park, the search is expected to take at least two days.

Dublin Live reported that the authorities were focusing their search on two areas of the Santry Demesne Park. “One is a heavily wooded area, while the other is a deep lake in the park – which means officers believe his remains have either been hidden in a shallow grave or in the water … officers from Ballymun have called in several specialist Garda units – including divers and dog handlers. Cadaver dogs are involved in the search – and they are used to indicate if human remains are in the area.”

In an interview with Newstalk Breakfast this morning, journalist Muiris O’Cearbhaill from the Irish media outlet The Journal said that the police had not released any new information but that developments might occur today. 

As noted by Vísir, Jón Þröstur’s siblings, Anna Hildur and Davíð Karl, flew to Dublin last week and participated in a press conference with the police, renewing their call for the search for Jón Þröstur, five years after his disappearance.

Deep North Episode 39: In the Ranger’s Realm

park ranger látrabjarg

What does a ranger do, exactly? According to the tan and charmingly scruffy specimen sitting opposite me at a cafe in the city centre, just back from the mountains, the title is self-explanatory. “It’s a job in environment protection. That’s what the Icelandic word for ranger, landvörður, means. We’re protecting the land; we’re its guardians.” Rangers safeguard Iceland’s fragile nature and the people who visit its remote fishing villages, tourist attractions, and mountainous wilderness. While their quotidian duties involve picking up trash, maintaining trails, and having a sharp word or two with travellers who stray off them, a ranger’s work is so much more. They have to be prepared for every eventuality and able to respond to all situations that arise far from the city limits. These are the people who take it upon themselves to ensure Iceland’s virtually untouched nature stays that way.

Read the story.

New National Park Centre Opened at Hellissandur

national park snæfellsjökull

The Environment Agency of Iceland and Snæfellsjökull National Park have opened a new visitor centre by Hellissandur.

Hellissandur is a historical fishing village on the Snæfellsnes peninsula. Home to Snæfellsjökull glacier, the region is also one of Iceland’s three national parks. Hellissandur has grown in recent years due to tourism, as the village sits just outside the northern entrance to Snæfellsjökull National Park.

Snæfellsjökull National Park Expanded on 20th Anniversary

The new centre was opened this Friday, March 24, in a ceremony presided over by Minister of Environment, Energy, and Climate Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson.

national park snæfellsjökull
Umhverfisstofnun – Environment Agency of Iceland

The new visitor centre was designed by the architecture firm Arkís. It is divided into three sections with different views of the surrounding landscape.

Snæfellsjökull National Park was founded in 2001.

 

Heiðmörk Forest Fire Burns Two Square Kilometres

heiðmörk fire 4 may 2021

A brush fire has burned two square kilometres of Heiðmörk forest in the Reykjavík capital area, RÚV reports. The fire broke out between three and four yesterday afternoon and took firefighters nearly twelve hours to put out. The fire was difficult for fire crews to access as it was far from roads.

Sævar Hreiðarsson, a forest warden in Heiðmörk, stated that wardens had been through the area just before the fire broke out. “It’s just sad that our staff didn’t see this. They were there just half an hour, an hour before this happened,” he stated.

The planting of Heiðmörk began in the early 1950s and the forest celebrated its 70th anniversary last year. The area where the fire took place was planted around 20 years ago. Heiðmörk is a popular recreational area for residents of the capital area. “And unfortunately some are using disposable barbecues or are smoking and not being careful,” Sævar told reporters. “Now everything is very dry and ignites easily, there’s a lot of food for the fire now.”

The area has been monitored specifically due to the risk of forest fire in recent years. “But it’s such a big area and it’s difficult for us to monitor, and this happens very suddenly. We have managed to stop fires like this as they break out. The fire crews managed to help us with something two years ago. There were small fires then but thankfully not like this just now.”