The wife of an Irish mountaineer who tragically died on Europe’s highest mountain has said she has lost her “best friend”.
40-year-old Alan Mahon, from Monasterevin, Co Kildare, died last Sunday during an expedition on the southern Russian peak of Mount Elbrus.
He was part of a five-person Irish group attempting the north route of the peak which was caught in deteriorating weather.
The group was met by a mountain rescue group which gave medical assistance.
However, despite frantic medical efforts by his friends and the rescue team, he passed away.
In a death notice on rip.ie, his family said, "(He died) unexpectedly while mountain climbing in Russia. Much loved and sadly missed by his wife and best friend Deirdre, his adored children Nora, Alice and Ollie, his parents Dennis (Dee) and Teresa, brothers Barry and Dennis.
“Parents-in-law Francis and Marie Quigley, sisters-in-law Mary, Aoife, Margaret and Caroline, brothers-in-law Michael and John, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, extended family, friends and colleagues.
The death notice further adds that prayers will be said, “…at Alan’s home tonight following Kildangan Cemetery Mass.”
Members of the public posted several condolences with one saying, “So so sorry for your loss, shocked at the news, thinking of you all at this time,” while another added: “Our thoughts and prayers are with you all at this tragic and painful time.”
Funeral arrangements are to be announced at a later stage.
The Department of Foreign Affairs said that the time required in order for remains to be repatriated may vary depending on the formalities required by different countries, and also on the individual circumstances surrounding a death.
On average, repatriations can take seven to10 days, although they often take longer. In a statement on their website, the Department said:
We can liaise between the family, local authorities and undertakers who can organise a local burial or arrange for the remains to be flown back to Ireland.
“However, it may not always be possible to fully comply with the families. We can liaise with the police or judicial authorities on a (family’s) behalf in the case of a suspicious death or an accident.”
In a statement written by his climbing companions, weather conditions deteriorated rapidly while they were camping at 5,300 meters. This required the team to remain there for two nights.
Mr Mahon’s death brings the total of Irish mountaineering tragedies this year to three.
Father of two Kevin Hayes, 56, originally from the village of Newbridge, Co Galway died a month ago on May 24, after he had descended several hundred metres from Mt Everest.
Father-of-one Séamus ‘Shay’ Lawless from Bray, Co Wicklow also died following a freak fall just hours after reaching the summit on May 16 while on Everest. His body was not recovered.