Memorial service planned for tragic Irish Mount Everest climber Seamus Lawless as search called off

25-05-2019 11:05

A MEMORIAL service will be held on Monday for Irish Mount Everest climber Seamus ‘Shay’ Lawless – as the search is called off.

The 39-year-old from Bray, Co Wicklow fell up to 500m during his descent from the mountain at an altitude of 8,300m, in an area known as the balcony.

Seamus Lawless will be remembered at a service in Bray on Monday

Seamus Lawless will be remembered at a service in Bray on Monday

The climber went missing on Everest after successfully reaching the summit

The climber went missing on Everest after successfully reaching the summit

It was his ambition to climb Everest, which stands at 8,848m before he turned 40 in July.

An online notice on rip.ie said: “A memorial service celebrating Shay’s life will be held in the Holy Redeemer Church in Bray on Monday at 11am.

“Shay died following a freak accident having summitted Mount Everest on May 16.

“He will be sadly missed by his loving wife and best friend Pam, his special little girl Emma, adoring parents Betting and Jimmy, brothers and sisters Ciarán, Deirdre, Sheila, Fidelma, Jemma and Eilis, large extended family and wide circle of friends.”

DONATIONS IN MEMORY

The family have asked for donations if desired to be given in memory of Mr Lawless to Barretstown Children’s Charity.

Mr Lawless, an assistant professor at Trinity College Dublin, completed the mammoth climb to raise up to €25,000 for Barretstown, a charity dedicated to seriously ill children and their families.

The expedition team, led by Co Down man Noel Hanna along with eight highly skilled Sherpas, had flown to Camp II and commenced their search from Camp IV which is not far from where Mr Lawless went missing in the death zone area. The area, is classed as the death zone, due to the lack of oxygen.

SEARCH ATTEMPTS

The team also used drone technology to assist them in the search operation. Mr Hanna was leading the group of eight from Seven Summits Treks when Mr Lawless went missing.

In a statement following the decision to call-off the recovery mission Mr Lawless’ family thanked the expedition team, the public and government for their support, generosity and kindness.

They said: “We, the Lawless family would like to extend their gratitude for the huge outpouring of support we have received since Shay went missing on Mount Everest last week and to all who donated towards the search operation.

“In just six days, over €267,000 was donated by more than 7,300 people. Your generosity has been overwhelming and your messages of support mean so much to us. The GoFundMe campaign was instrumental in helping us fund an experienced search team for Shay. Unfortunately it was not successful.

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“While the experienced search team has made every effort to locate Shay, the extremes of operating at high altitude and the sheer range of the search area ultimately proved too difficult.

“Based on expert advice we have decided to call off the search rather than risk endangering anyone’s life in the treacherous conditions.”

Tributes were paid yesterday to a second Irish climber, Kevin Hynes, 56, from the village of Newbridge, Co Galway, who died in his tent at the North Col at 7,000m in the early hours of Friday.

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