Irish mountain rescue volunteer dies in north Wales

Kevin Hallahan (43) loses his life in accident during training in Snowdonia

Kevin Hallahan (43) was ‘a skilled and experienced mountaineer who selflessly applied his knowledge to help those in need.’

Kevin Hallahan (43) was ‘a skilled and experienced mountaineer who selflessly applied his knowledge to help those in need.’

 

An Irish mountain rescue climber has died in an accident during a training event in Snowdonia, north Wales.

Kevin Hallahan (43), a married man with three daughters, lost his life during training on the Crib Goch route in Snowdonia on Saturday morning.

Dublin-Wicklow Mountain Rescue Team said in a statement that its members were “deeply shocked, following the tragic loss of our dear friend and teammate, Kevin Hallahan, in a fatal accident”.

It is the first fatality the team has suffered during voluntary duty. Five Irish Coast Guard members have died since last September – Caitríona Lucas of Doolin Coast Guard, and the four crew of the Rescue 116 helicopter.

Llanberis and Aberglaslyn mountain rescue teams, Caernarfon Coast Guard helicopter, and North Wales Police were involved in the emergency alert recovery effort after the incident occurred.

Circumstances are still being investigated, and it is understood that the Department of Foreign Affairs has offered assistance to Mr Hallahan’s family.

‘Highly motivated’

Mr Hallahan, from Naas, Co Kildare, joined the Dublin Wicklow Mountain Rescue Team in 2011. His team said that he “quickly established himself as a valued and highly motivated team member”.

“He was a skilled and experienced mountaineer who selflessly applied his knowledge to help those in need,” it said.

“Kevin could be relied upon to complete any task efficiently and safely, always looking out for his team-mates. He was a man who cared for those around him, supporting and mentoring, with a kind word and his friendly smile,” it said.

The team offered its deepest sympathies to his wife and three daughters, his parents Marie and Anthony Hallahan, sister Pamela, brother Tony and his many friends.

“Dublin-Wicklow Mountain Rescue Team will do all we can to support Kevin’s family in the difficult weeks and months ahead. He was a wonderful person who will be sorely missed by all who were privileged to know him,”it said.

It paid tribute to the Welsh mountain rescue teams, helicopter and police who assisted.

Tony Hallahan described his brother Kevin as a “hero” has asked people to light a candle in memory of him.

“Light a candle for my brother who is a hero for giving all the hours he could doing what he loved so much in the mountain rescue - Will always be remembered,” said Mr Hallahan.

Friends of the mountain rescuer also paid tribute online to their “kind” and “loving” friend. Friends said he had been part of dozens of successful rescue operations during the six years he had been working with the team in Ireland.

The Dublin-Wicklow team was one of the two busiest in the State last year, along with Glen of Imaal. Each team of volunteers had 66 call-outs, while Mayo Mountain Rescue Team were the next busiest with 52 call-outs.

Mountain Rescue Ireland’s 2016 report recorded that the 384 volunteers in 12 mountain rescue teams responded to 405 call-outs as a result of more than 300 separate incidents last year. The teams required helicopter assistance in more than half of the incidents responded to.