Search ends as body of man, 80, found in Kerry

A FOUR-DAY search for an 80-year-old man on the Dingle peninsula ended when a body was found on Mount Brandon.

The remains are believed to be those of Tony Crickard, from Norfolk Parade, Belfast, who had been missing since Friday.

The body was discovered yesterday at about 2pm and was taken to Kerry General Hospital where a postmortem is to be carried out. It was found almost a third of the way up the mountain in the townland of Mám Mhicíl, a short distance off the walking route. It is believed Mr Crickard walked from Brandon Creek.

He was seen in St Mary’s Church, Dingle, at about 4pm, on Friday. There were further sightings on the road westwards from Dingle and at Brandon Creek, near Mount Brandon and about 10km from Dingle later that evening.

Tracker dog teams from Clare and Waterford, the Shannon-based search and rescue helicopter, Dingle coastguard, gardaí, Kerry Mountain Rescue, Civil Defence and upwards of 50 volunteers were involved in the search.

The late Mr Crickard was in Kerry for the funeral of his grandnephew Shane Crickard, 20, from Ballyduff, Co Kerry.

He died after his motorcycle collided with a van, near Causeway, on his way to work on Monday week last.

Meanwhile, Kerry Mountain Rescue urged hill walkers to give themselves enough hours when setting out, after an all-night rescue operation on Ireland’s highest peak, Carrauntuohil.

A party of six, including five teenagers, were brought to safety in the early hours of yesterday during a difficult operation involving 20 Kerry Mountain Rescue members.

The walkers had reached the summit of Carrauntuohil at 8pm on Monday, and the rescuers were called out by gardaí at 1am yesterday.

According to initial information from the missing party, they were in the Devil’s Ladder area but, having scaled the treacherous Ladder, the rescue team discovered they were in fact on the other side of the mountain on a steep incline.

Some of the teenagers were experienced hill walkers, but a middle-aged man was suffering from exhaustion and hypothermia.

The rescue helicopter could not reach the party because of cloud cover and inaccessibility of the area. Rescuers then had to stretcher the man down from 700 metres.

Kerry Mountain Rescue spokesman Brendan Coffey said the operation had been the toughest in recent times for the team.

“The lesson to be learned is that people should allow plenty of time when setting out on a hill walk.

“If anything goes wrong, there is less risk and more daylight time to seek help,” he said.

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