Irish skier who died in avalanche is named
THE Irish skier who was killed in an avalanche in the Swiss Alps had built a successful career for himself as an investment manager with a leading international firm.
The man, who has been named locally as Michael Clifford, was living in the Zurich area where he had been working for more than six years with the world-renowned Partners Group.
Mr Clifford, who studied at University College Cork, died when an avalanche struck the area of Realp in central Switzerland, where he is thought to have been skiing off-piste.
Last night colleagues of Mr Clifford were still in shock after learning of his death.
"We would like to leave this up to the family of Micheal and therefore would decline the opportunity (to comment) as we are still shocked about his sudden passing," said a spokesman for the company.
Mr Clifford was reported missing by his girlfriend when he failed to return to the hotel where they had been staying on St Stephen's Day.
Treacherous conditions prevented rescuers from immediately attending the scene but Mr Clifford's body was recovered the following day. He had been crushed by three metres of snow.
The Alpine Rescue Switzerland confirmed Mr Clifford was swept along more than 500 metres by the avalanche. Swiss police would not release any further details.
A spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs said it was continuing to provide consular assistance to the family.