STAFF AND students at DkIT have paid tribute to Irish adventurer Ian McKeever who died tragically leading a group on Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.
Ian was a regular visitor to the Institute, having first visited DkIT as a motivational speaker in 2008 as part of a staff development programme.
Ian was a very open person and he spoke of his life up to and including his successful attempt to break the Seven Summits Challenge record in 2007 and his reasons for undertaking such a physically and mentally demanding challenge.
He became a regular visitor to DkIT as part of the Regional Development Centre's enterprise development programmes.
Ian's talks became a very popular element of the programmes and helped equip start up entrepreneurs with a belief in their own ability to overcome challenges and to become successful leaders in their organisations.
A number of programme participants took up Ian's challenge and climbed Kilimanjaro with Ian.
One participant on the 2012 New Frontiers Programme was due to travel with Ian on the 28th December on what became his ill-fated final ascent of the mountain.
'Ian took an interest in people,' recalled Garrett Duffy, enterprise development manager, DkIT.
'He wanted to know what business each participant was starting so that he could see how he could help.
'His sessions always went far beyond talk and chalk. As a former broadcaster he had great connections and was working with one of our participants on a PR campaign for his upcoming product launch. He will be truly missed'.
Among the DkIT events which Ian attended was the 2010 Clubs and Societies awards ceremony held in the Park Hotel.
Students were thrilled as Ian told them about how he carried out the ' Seven Summits Challenge' one of his biggest achievements.
He set a new world record when he climbed each of the highest mountains on the seven continents with what was then a record time of 155 days in 2007. This was especially remarkable because he had never been to altitude prior to the challenge.
Ian also told the riveted audience about how he guided his 10 year old godson Sean to the highest point in Africa in 2008 and how this led to him writing a book called 'Give me Heroes' which celebrates the lives and touching stories of 15 very humble, very ordinary, yet very different Irish heroes.