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Mountaineers in mourning as 'founding father' dies

THE Irish mountaineering community is in mourning this week at the passing of one of its greats, Joss Lynam.

Described as the founding father of Irish mountaineering, Mr Lynam died at the age of 86 in a Dublin hospital following a short illness.

Renowned worldwide, Mr Lynam founded the Irish Mountaineering Club in 1948 and the Federation of Mountaineering Clubs of Ireland in 1971.

The Dublin-based civil engineer climbed all over the world, and took part in his first international expedition to India in the 1940s. He was active in the Alps and climbed the 6,526-metre Shigri Parbat in the Himalayas in the 1950s.

Mr Lynam was closely associated with the provision of public access for leisure walkers in Ireland for many years.

A prolific writer, he was literary editor of the 'Irish Mountain Log' and author of many books.

He was vice chair of the National Trails Office and represented Ireland internationally at the International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation.

He was also involved in the development of the Association for Adventure Sports in Ireland, which he chaired.

Mr Lynam had a great love for Connemara, where his parents were from.

He is survived by his wife Nora and daughters Clodagh and Ruth.

"He was such a unique person. It's difficult to express my admiration for this man, for the incredible contribution he has made to Irish climbing," said Karl Boyle of Mountaineering Ireland.

Irish Independent