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Memorial for Irish K2 climber

A memorial service for Irish mountaineer Gerard McDonnell, who died with 10 other climbers near the summit of the K2 mountain, will take place in his home village.

The 37-year-old Irishman died with fellow climbers on the slopes of the world's second highest mountain in the Himalayas last weekend after an ice avalanche. He was the first Irishman to reach its summit.



The memorial will take place on August 17 at 1.30 pm at Kilcornan Community Centre in Co Limerick. A Mass will be held to be followed by a musical celebration of his life.



A website set up for the mountaineering expedition to Pakistan carried messages of gratitude from Gerard's family for the sympathy they received.



His brother JJ and girlfriend Annie Starkey were scheduled to travel to Pakistan to meet other members of the ill-fated expedition. Adventurer and family friend Pat Falvey said a meeting was being arranged for JJ and Ms Starky.



"Some family members are hoping to meet up with the expedition leader of Ger's team, Wilco Van Rooijen," said Mr Falvey.



"At high altitude at over 8000 metres, it is too dangerous to mount a rescue to have the bodies returned," Mr Falvey added.



There is a Book of Condolences at www.patfalvey.com/condolences.php .



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