Belfast Telegraph

Friday 25 April 2014

Tributes flow at funeral of tragic Irish climber

Former colleagues and friends of Irish adventurer Ian McKeever have paid tribute to the record-breaking climber who was killed after being struck by lightning on Africa's tallest mountain.

Hundreds turned out for the the funeral of Mr McKeever (42) who had been leading an expedition to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro two weeks ago.

His fiancee, Anna O'Loughlin, who was injured in the incident, attended the funeral in St Laurence O'Toole's Church in Roundwood, Co Wicklow, on crutches.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny, who took part in last year's Croagh Patrick Challenge with Mr McKeever, was represented by his aide-de-camp, Commandant Michael Treacy.

In an emotional eulogy, his sister Denise said: “Before Ian was an adventurer he was a son, brother and a much-loved member of our family. I can't imagine what life will be like without him.”

She said their parents, Niall and Aideen, “were so very proud of him”.

His friend Gordon Mac an Bhaird, who was involved in Mr McKeever's Kilimanjaro Achievers organisation, said it was “regrettable that he did not receive the recognition he truly deserved when he was living”.

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