News Irish News

Wednesday 26 July 2017

Sporting heroes ignore orange weather alert to climb highest peak

Wayne O'Connor

Wayne O'Connor

Teeming downpours and treacherous conditions greeted some of the country's sporting heroes as they climbed Carrauntoohil to raise money for charity.

Met Éireann had issued an orange weather warning for parts of the country, but that did not deter the likes of hurler Seán Óg Ó hAilpín and Sonia O'Sullivan.

They were joined by a team of former Irish rugby internationals, who carried their Irish caps to the top of Ireland's highest mountain.

Both the men's and women's rugby Six Nations trophies were brought to the 'Caps to the Summit' event, as the sports stars looked to raise more than €150,000 for the Alan Kerins Projects, in partnership with Gorta Self Help Africa.

INM Editor-in-Chief Stephen Rae and journalist Paul Williams with Alan Kerins at the summit. Photos: Mark Condren
INM Editor-in-Chief Stephen Rae and journalist Paul Williams with Alan Kerins at the summit. Photos: Mark Condren
Editor in Chief of Independent news and Media Stephen Rae and Journalist Paul Williams climbing Carrauntoohill for the Caps to the Summit
Former Irish rugby player Mick Galwey with Journalist Paul Williams and Editor in Chief of Independent news and Media Stephen Rae climbing Carrauntoohill for the Caps to the Summit in aid of the Alan Kerins in partnership with Gorta self help Africa. Pic:Mark Condren

The charities help disadvantaged children in Africa by providing education, farming and enterprise development to make communities more self-sufficient.

Conditions were tricky for those leaving base camp at Cronin's yard at 9am, and they deteriorated as the day went on. Retired athlete Sonia O'Sullivan said the difficult conditions added to the sense of accomplishment at the end.

"It was tough going but when you're approaching the top, and you get sight of the cross on the summit, the relief is something else.

"I was really lucky because someone at the top was able to give me a nice warm jumper. Only for that I wouldn't have finished," she added.

"It was difficult but it is for a great cause and I'm glad to have done it. Delighted to finish."

The group received a blessing from the Bishop of Kerry, Father Raymond A Browne, before a minute's silence was observed for the victims of the September 11 attacks in New York.

Climbers make their way up Carrauntoohill
Climbers make their way up Carrauntoohill
Climbers make their way up Carrauntoohill

Waterfalls

They were then led on to the mountain by a piper before a three-hour climb to the summit.

At the top, former Munster and Ireland forward and proud Kerryman Mick Galwey said that he was delighted to have taken part.

"It is a rite of passage for every Kerryman to make this climb. The conditions were difficult but nothing compared to what the people that we are doing this for go through every day," he said.

His former Ireland teammate Shane Byrne said that he would love to do it again.

By the end of the hike, water was flowing across the trails, with waterfalls coming down from the mountains as conditions became more difficult.

"I thought that it was tough going up but the way down was probably harder," said Byrne.

"The water towards the end was crazy and probably the hardest part of it, but it's great to have done it. The rain was something else, but occasionally the sky would clear and you would get the most breathtaking scenery."

Irish Independent

Promoted articles

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News