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Climber dies in fall during
Italian trek

A fourth Irishman has died in a tragic mountain climbing accident in a week.

A 40-year-old climber from Cork died after a fall while climbing outside Rome in Italy.

The man, who is a member of a well-known Cork business family, is believed to have suffered head and neck injuries in the accident.

He is understood to have been on holidays in Italy with friends when the accident took place.

Rescue

The fatal fall occurred in a popular walking and climbing area of the Apennine Mountains, some 60km from Rome.

Mountain rescue officials transferred his body to a nearby hospital.

Italian officials have declined to release his name until all relatives have been informed.

However, members of his family have flown to Italy to assist with the repatriation of his body.

The death comes just one week after two Irish climbers were killed in an accident on Mont Blanc in France.

Colm Ennis (37) from Waterford and Peter Britton (55) from Tipperary died when they fell 200 metres on the Dent du Geant or Giant's Tooth section of the mountain last Sunday.

Both men died instantly in an horrific fall witnessed by other climbers on the mountain.

It is believed the lifelong friends fell after one of their ropes dislodged during their ascent.

Mountain rescue officials stressed that there was no way anyone could have survived such a fall.

Family members have now travelled to France and are liaising with the local authorities and Department of Foreign Affairs about repatriating both bodies.

Mont Blanc, Europe's highest mountain, is nicknamed the "White Killer" because so many climbers die on its slopes each year.

Unpredictable

On average over 100 climbers die on Mont Blanc each year due to its notoriously unpredictable weather, challenging cliff faces and crevices.

Special guards of honour will be provided by Irish mountain climbing clubs at both funerals.

A fourth man died in a fall while climbing in Connemara.

Francis McKeon (56), a civil servant from Cavan, had been climbing in the Twelve Bens range in Galway last Saturday when he fell.

hnews@herald.ie


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