Saturday 20 January 2018

Aoibhín's Everest hero John is dancing on air

Mountaineering hero John Burke, who runs the Armada Hotel in Miltown Malbay, is welcomed home at Shannon Airport by his wife Aoibhín Garrihy after becoming the first Co Clare man to reach the summit on Mount Everest. Photo: Arthur Ellis
Mountaineering hero John Burke, who runs the Armada Hotel in Miltown Malbay, is welcomed home at Shannon Airport by his wife Aoibhín Garrihy after becoming the first Co Clare man to reach the summit on Mount Everest. Photo: Arthur Ellis

Gordon Deegan

AoibhÍn Garrihy said that "dancing is on the cards" with her husband John Burke following his conquest of Everest.

Mr Burke (38) arrived home to a hero's welcome at Shannon Airport yesterday with hundreds of people, including many children, wearing their Clare tops.

His 13-year-old nephew Calum Curtin, who was with him out at Everest Base Camp, was also there.

The most relieved woman in Shannon was Mr Burke's mother Claire Burke and she said: "John is my only son and I have to pinch myself to realise that he is home. It has been a terrible time without him. It is amazing to have him back."

Mr Burke quipped that Garrihy has bought a set of golf clubs for him "and that is the direction she wants me to go in".

"Golf and dancing is on the cards," the former 'Dancing with the Stars' performer laughed. "I am so proud and very relieved."

John is greeted by his nephew Calum Curtin. He has dedicated his achievement to inspire young people facing mental health challenges. Photo: Arthur Ellis
John is greeted by his nephew Calum Curtin. He has dedicated his achievement to inspire young people facing mental health challenges. Photo: Arthur Ellis

Mr Burke reached the top on May 16 at 9.45am.

"It was a dream of 10 years for me, it was so emotional when I got to the top," he said. Just days after his success, two climbers died on Mount Everest, taking the death toll in the past month to at least five.

"My priority was always to get home. I saw bodies on the mountain. It is a place full of dreams and full of nightmares for other people," he said.

The Co Clare hotelier said that is part of the message of new charity Elevate to promote mental health among the young.

Irish Independent

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