'Carrauntoohil climb offers therapy for the bereaved'

One of the big fundraisers for a vital Munster hospital represents a chance for some much-needed therapy for those struggling with loss, its Listowel-native founder said this week as she urged walkers to take part.

Betty O'Sullivan Halpin was speaking on the launch of the sixth annual Climb to Remember supporting services at the Mercy Hospital in Cork. It was there her mother Bernie was cared for before she lost her battle with cancer in 2010. Betty conceived the Climb to Remember as a way of saying 'thank you' to the staff at the hospital for their brilliant care by raising money for vital services there.

Seven years later, she can look back at a personal journey of healing that was helped in no small way by her annual climb of Carrauntoohil. Climbing the mountain provided a form of 'therapy' Betty said.

"The care given to my mother before her passing at the Mercy was tremendous, and Climb to Remember is just a little way to say "thank you" to the wonderful team in the Hospital. When you lose a loved one, you feel as though life will never again be the same," Betty said, adding:

"The Climb to Remember is a wonderful opportunity to reflect on and remember someone who's passed on. I find doing the climbs really therapeutic, and even though they can be tough in parts, I love the fact that I'm doing it in memory of that special person."

Climb to Remember takes place on Sunday next, May 14, and will see walkers from across the province converging on Cronin's Yard in Beaufort - the gateway into the Hag's Glen. Pre-event registration is 'essential' at www.mercyfundraising.ie, with a sign-in taking place in the Yard from 9am until 9.45am. The group will scale the mountain via the spectacular, if occasionally tough, Brother O'Shea's Gully route before returning down the Devil's Ladder.