Saturday 16 December 2017

Rescue workers searching for missing hillwalker discover body

Resuce team in Leenane Co Galway Picture: Galway Mountain Rescue Team
Resuce team in Leenane Co Galway Picture: Galway Mountain Rescue Team
Cathal McMahon

Cathal McMahon

A search for an experienced hillwalker who failed to return from a lengthy hike has been called off after rescue workers found a body this evening.

The Dublin man, who is in his 50s, spoke to a family member by telephone at 4.30pm from the Maamturk Mountains near Leenane, Co Galway yesterday but failed to return to his accommodation last night.

This morning the Galway Mountain Rescue Team (GMRT) were contacted by gardaí and were requested their assistance in coordinating the search operation.

Ronan Concannon, a spokesman for GMRT, said they dispatched a team at 10.30am to the last known location at a place known locally as the Col of Despondency.

They requested the support of the Coast Guard but conditions meant it was unsuitable and unsafe for a helicopter to travel to the area.

Shortly before 5pm Mr Concannon confirmed that remains had been located on the eastern slope of Leenane Hill.

"We are working now to get the hillwalker's body from the site. It is in a difficult location."

Mr Concannon explained that the man had been practicing for the Maamturks Challenge - a 24km walk that takes place every year around Easter time.

GMRT were supported by Mayo Mountain Rescue but this team were later diverted to another incident where a female hillwalker was injured.

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