independent

Friday 22 March 2019

Orlagh 'out of danger' after 30ft fall

Orlagh Hanratty
Orlagh Hanratty

Mary Fogarty

A young Bray woman had a climbing accident last week and remains in serious condition in hospital in New Zealand. Orlagh Hanratty (25), of Newcourt Road, suffered the fall on Thursday. Her parents Tommy and Jenny have flown to be with her. Orlagh is out of immediate danger but has multiple injuries, requires surgery, and has a 'battle to fight'.

Paramedics did not believe initially that she would survive the fall. In a statement from New Zealand, her dad Tommy said that Orlagh is 'the toughest, strongest girl I know'. He said that he will never be able to thank everyone enough for their support. Orlagh, who has been living in New Zealand, fell around 30 foot from a cliff while on a rock climbing trip near the city Dunedin. She is based near Fiordland National Park in south west New Zealand, and works for the tourism company Real Journeys. As well as enjoying climbing and skydiving, Orlagh is an experienced gymnast. Orlagh's cousin Krista said that Tommy and Jenny got a phone call to say that Orlagh was critical, and to get over there as soon as possible. 'It's every parent's worst nightmare,' said Krista. 'They got the first flight over.'

Krista said that everyone in Bray will know what a wonderful person Orlagh's dad Tommy is. 'He would literally give you the shirt off your back,' she said. A fundraising campaign has been set up to support Orlagh's parents as they remain by her side indefinitely, and potential costs related to Orlagh's rehabilitation in the coming months. The gofundme page, entitled 'please help Orlagh Hanratty's Recovery', had raised almost €13,000 yesterday. There will also be a fundraising event in the Harbour Bar on Thursday, March 28.

'People have already been so kind, sending positive vibes and saying prayers,' said Krista, who is asking people to donate whatever they can. 'No matter how small, every little helps,' she said. 'Orlagh has always lived life to the full and would help anyone,' according to the gofundme page. 'It is now our time to help her.' Orlagh's dad Tommy saved the life of a friend some years ago, as his business premises went up in flames. Everest Cycles was located at the time on Castle Street and there was a residence above the shop. Tommy made his way through flames and thick smoke to alert Hanno Garms who was sleeping upstairs.

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