Friday 23 February 2018

Dad of three dies after falling from Connemara mountain

Francis McKeon, who died after a fall while on a mountaineering climb on Connemara
Francis McKeon, who died after a fall while on a mountaineering climb on Connemara
The Coastguard helicopter was involved in the search
Caroline Crawford

Caroline Crawford

A father of three has died after falling up to 20 metres, while on a mountaineering climb in Connemara.

Francis McKeon, (56) , a civil servant from Co Cavan, had been climbing the Twelve Bens mountain range in Muckanagh, Co Galway, on Saturday when the incident occurred.

The Department of Agriculture employee was with a fellow climber, when he fell up to 20 metres, fatally injuring himself at around 4.30pm.

His companion immediately alerted the emergency services, and gardai along with Galway Mountain Rescue and the Malin Head Coastguard co-ordinated a rescue operation.

Malin Head coastguard was tasked with retrieving Mr McKeon, who was located a four-hour hike away from the Galway Mountain Rescue team.

The Rescue 118 helicopter was dispatched from Sligo and at 6pm the climber was airlifted to Galway University Hospital, where he was officially pronounced dead.

One former colleague described Mr McKeon as "a very nice fella".

"He was very well regarded in the community," they said.

"He was very quiet and kept to himself. He would have been big into walking and did lots of community work, like cleaning up the local area."

Mr McKeon is survived by his wife Catherine, daughters Aisling and Shona and son Fiachra.

Irish Independent

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