Family of four safe and well after 9-hour ordeal on Galtee mountains

A FAMILY of four were found safe and well late on Sunday night after becoming lost while hiking on the Galtee mountains in Tipperary.

The four — a man from the Munster region and his three children aged from 10 to 14 — were on their way down to their car on the south side of Galtymore when they became disorientated in mist and fog and ended up descending the northern slopes.

They had earlier climbed Galtymore from the public car park at the top of the Black Road near Skeheenarinky.

Realising their mistake, but not knowing their exact location they contacted the mountain rescue team through the 999/112 emergency line and also the gardaí in Cahir.

After the family described their location to a mountain rescue search co-ordinator, the South Eastern Mountain Rescue Association (SEMRA) team sent a search party and a Search and Rescue Dog Association team to a location in the Glen of Aherlow to start a search.

The family were advised to keep moving downhill to a wooded area that the mountain rescue team had identified from maps and local knowledge. Because of their location, phone contact was lost for some time, but the search party found the family tired but safe and well in the wooded area above the village of Rossadrehid.

They were given food and drinks and then taken back to their car after spending nine hours on the mountains. This is the second search incident in the last days involving SEMRA on the Galtee mountains and the third in recent weeks.

In all, nine people have been found and assisted by the team in the three incidents.

According to SEMRA official Jimmy Barry, weather conditions have made climbing on Galtymore extremely difficult this summer. “I’ve never seen the Galtees covered in such thick mist,” he said.

So far this year the team have responded to 14 incidents across the south-east.

The team are asking hillwalkers, climbers and visitors to the mountains in the area to exercise more care and remember that mobile phone coverage can be patchy on the slopes.

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