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Friday 6 December 2019

Walkers should stick to marked trails, says cliff-plunge rambler

Paddy Clancy

THE rambler who survived a plunge 350 metres down Ireland's highest sea cliff has urged others not to wander away from recommended trails on Slieve League.

Cormac Nolan (28) said the Co Donegal scenic spot was one of the most fantastic he had ever seen in Ireland. "Slieve League is a beautiful place. I hope what happened me won't put anybody off seeing it," he said.

Mr Nolan, who runs a tyre and filling station business in Ballon, Co Carlow, told of his desperate battle using his bare hands to prevent his fall down almost two-thirds of the 601-metre cliff.

He survived only because of a 12-hour rescue operation after he landed on a narrow ledge 50 metres above the Atlantic.

The experienced hiker yesterday warned others not to do as he did and wander away from marked trails.

He was on his way back down after a three-hour hike when he foolishly decided to go on to an incline and then suddenly slipped on some rocks and started his fall.

"I have done a lot of walking and would always make a few people aware of the time I left and that sort of thing," Mr Nolan said.

"I should have known not to stray. I only went slightly off trail but I almost lost my life.

"Everybody should stay on recommended trails. They are there for that very reason.

"I was very lucky and I have learned a lesson. I'll make sure I will be a lot safer from now on.

"I can't keep counting on the same luck always.

"I am alive and well because of the bravery of the rescue teams," he added.

Irish Independent

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