Woman ‘forever grateful’ after 8-hour rescue

The woman at the centre of one of the most difficult mountain rescue missions in almost 50 years has said she will be “forever grateful” to her rescuers.

“I couldn’t praise them enough — the way they carried out the mission. And I’ve told them in person,” Clare woman Dympna Ryan said last night.

Dramatic footage of the eight-hour rescue mission from an isolated ridge in Ireland’s highest mountain range will be screened this weekend.

Viewers will see the Kerry Mountain Rescue Team overcoming horrendous weather conditions and treacherous terrain to stretcher her an incredible 3,000ft to safety.

The gruelling mission was one of the most challenging in the rescue team’s 46-year history.

“This was one of the most challenging rescues we ever conducted, given the remote location of the injured walker, the difficult terrain over which the stretcher had to be carried and the poor visibility at the time,” spokesman, Damien Courtney, said.

Footage captured by some of the rescue team will be screened on RTÉ1 on Sunday as part of the Ireland Search and Rescue series.

Ms Ryan was walking in a group on top of the Coimín na Peiste ridge in the McGillycuddy Reeks on Jul 24, 2011, when she sustained a suspected broken ankle.

The alarm was raised at 4.30pm. The advance rescue team reached her around 6pm.

But a thick mist, which reduced visibility to just 15m, prevented the Irish Coast Guard helicopter from performing an airlift.

Up to 30 rescue team members then mounted a major operation to stretcher her off the ridge down to the Black Valley.

* Ireland’s Search and Rescue is broadcast at 6.30pm on Sunday on RTÉ1.


Not all trends are created equal. Some are exciting – like first-date butterflies; others are comforting – like ice-cream and Golden Girls reruns.Trend of the Week: Floral free for all

Veterinary medicine is a demanding career, leading to mental health problems for some vets.Elephant in the clinic: Helpline offers support to vets with mental health difficulties

Pearl Lowe turns 50 in April – and she’s got a lot to celebrate. TA look into the reinvention of Pearl Lowe

Bonnie Ryan couldn’t be happier.On a roll: Why Bonnie Ryan couldn't be happier

More From The Irish Examiner