WELL-KNOWN adventurer and author Ian McKeever has just launched his new book celebrating the lives and stories of 15 humble Irish heroes.
Ian, who lives in Lough Dan, County Wicklow, wouldn't be any stranger to heroic acts himself, having set a record in 2007 by managing to climb the highest mountain on each continent, reaching a total of eight summits in all.
His book 'Give Me Irish Heroes'' was launched last week in Dublin by former Olympian and current Chairman of the Institute of Sport, Eamonn Coghlan. All profits from the sale of the book will be donated to charity.
Each of the 'heroes' covered in the book range in age from children to the elderly and have been included by Ian for a variety of reasons.
'Some of these heroes are well known to the Irish public but have not been chosen for that reason. People such as Ger Mc Donnell; the first and only Irish man to summit K2, whose complete and amazing story is told for the first time in this book, thanks to the grateful support of his family and friends,' explains the author.
He adds, ' Adi Roche, whose "behind the scenes'' look at her life casts a deeper insight into the woman who responded to an SOS message for international help so tellingly, back in 1986.
'Gary Keegan's story is of how one man masterminded Ireland's Olympic boxing success despite the odds and costs to him personally, and then turned down the chance to coach the British Olympic boxing team. There are a wide range of stories included.'
At the launch in Dublin's Sky Bar, Apprentice star Breffney Mahuire was present, and his grandfather is one of the stars of the book.
'Richard Morgan at the age of 76 actually won a gold medal at the indoor rowing world championships.
'We also have a chapter on the lady who at 65 beat cancer four times and became the oldest Irish woman to take her place on Kilimanjaro mountain,' says Ian.
President McAleese has lent her support by writing the introduction for the book. The profits of the book will be donated to a range of charities, including Gaisce – The Presidents Awards.
'Give Me Irish Heroes' retails at € 14.99 through Hughes and Hughes and independent bookshops.