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Sunday 26 February 2017

Mark makes history after conquering Everest

Barry Duggan

Mark Quinn at base camp on Mount Everest back in April.

AN IRISHMAN has made history by becoming the youngest person from the Republic to conquer Mount Everest.

Mark Quinn (27), from Rhebogue, Co Limerick, is on top of the world after reaching the summit of the world's highest mountain, in the Himalayas on the China/Nepal border.

He reached the summit at 8am local time on Saturday.

Mark's parents Fiona and Ger last night praised their son's "determination" and hard work.

"The last few days while he was summiting have been an anxious time, it is quite a dangerous thing to do. But we're absolutely delighted. The main thing is he's in one piece and he's now halfway back down the mountain," Fiona said.

At the summit, Mark placed a badge of the Shane Geoghegan Trust in the snow, in memory of the murdered Garryowen player who was shot in a case of mistaken identity.

He is hoping to raise €30,000 for the charity, which runs youth programmes in the city and offers teenagers an alternative to a life of crime.

There were celebrations in Limerick over the weekend as friends and family of Mark toasted his success.

Friend Daragh Graham, who spoke to Mark on satellite phone shortly after the climb, said: "He was absolutely thrilled but a little lost for words, and obviously a bit exhausted.

"We popped open some champagne for him last night and there'll be a big homecoming for him when he arrives home around the June bank holiday weekend."

He has now spent over a month at one of the world's most inhospitable places, surviving on a diet of "soup, noodles and anything that melts".

Last year Mark successfully reached the summit of Mount Aconcagua in the Argentinean Andes, the highest mountain outside Asia.

In preparation for his challenge, he took part in a six-day winter survival course in Cairngorms, Scotland, and climbed Carrauntoohil in Co Kerry, the highest peak in Ireland, and Galtymore in Co Tipperary on a a regular basis.

Irish Independent

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