A man has died after a fall close to the summit of Ireland’s tallest mountain.
The body of the man, believed to be Irish and in his 50s, was recovered from steep, inaccessible ground on the northern face of Carrauntoohill in Co Kerry after a recovery operation by members of the Kerry Mountain Rescue Team (KMRT) on Saturday.
There have been a number of serious falls on the mountain in recent weeks but it is understood this was the first fatality as a result of a fall on the mountain this year.
The alarm was raised at around 2pm on Saturday when climbers on the lower slopes reported seeing a climber above them fall close to the Heavenly Gates area. The man is understood to have been climbing alone.
The crew of the Shannon-based coast guard helicopter spotted the body from the air but given the terrain, were unable to land or conduct winching operations.
They flew members of the KMRT to upper slopes from where a recovery operation was launched. They stretchered the body off the mountain by 9pm. Gardai in Killorglin believe they are following a definite line of enquiry after establishing someone did not return to his accommodation locally.
KMRT spokesman Alan Wallace said the tragedy highlights the dangers of climbing Ireland’s highest mountain.
“The consequences of a slip or stumble, particularly on steep ground on the upper slopes can be very serious,” he said.
Meanwhile, a motorcyclist, 30, who was competing in a road race in Co Tipperary was airlifted to Cork University Hospital (CUH) yesterday after a crash at around 12.30pm at the start of the Open Race during Faugheen 50 Road Race Club’s racing weekend.
Race secretary, Maeve Walsh, said the on-circuit medical team responded, and despite the fact that the casualty was able to talk to those treating him, a decision was made to task the Waterford-based coast guard helicopter, Rescue 117, which landed in a field nearby and airlifted him to CUH.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved