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Family of tragic climber take solace that he did not die alone

THE family of the brave climber who was killed on Mont Blanc said they took some solace that he "did not die on the mountain alone".

Peter Britton (55) was described as "a kind, loving, devoted father."

Mr Britton died along with his good friend and climbing partner, Colm Ennis (37), when a rope failed and they plummeted 200m during their descent of Mont Blanc on the France-Italy border on July 27.

"He was our rock," said his son, Christopher.


Hundreds gathered at Mr Britton's Requiem Mass in the Church of St Peter and St Paul in Clonmel, Co Tipperary.

In an emotional tribute, Christopher said the family took some solace from the fact "he did not die on the mountain alone".

"We are absolutely devastated by what happened…dad was first and foremost a family man and he loved us, a fact he told us many times but we already knew," Christopher told the packed church.

"He was our north, our south, our east and our west. But we won't be stopping the clocks in the house because that is not what dad would have wanted".

Mr Britton and Mr Ennis, both active members of Rathgormack Climbing Club and experienced Alpine mountaineers, had climbed Europe's highest mountain and were descending in an area known as Dent du Geant or the Giant's Tooth when the tragedy occurred.

The council engineer was hailed for saving countless lives thanks to his relentless commitment to road safety improvements.

Mr Britton, a University College Galway graduate, worked for Dublin City Council before transferring to South Tipperary Co Council in 2002.

The offertory gifts reflected Mr Britton's passions and included family items, a climbing shoe and his guitar.

Mourners were led by Mr Britton's wife, Carol, and children Christopher, Laura and Cormac.