Climbers to mark 25th anniversary of first Irish ascent of Everest

Irish Nepalese Educational Trust and Barretstown charity to benefit from events

The 25th anniversary of the first successful ascent of Mount Everest by Irish climbers is due to be marked with events in the Dublin and Mourne mountains this weekend.

Two charities – the Irish Nepalese Educational Trust and the Barretstown charity for children with serious illnesses – will benefit from the anniversary events.

Belfast architect Dawson Stelfox reached the 8,848m-high summit via the Northeast Ridge route from Tibet on May 27th, 1993, as part of an eight-strong climbing team.

Mr Stelfox, his deputy leader Frank Nugent and other members of the expedition team are due to mark the quarter century at a weekend event in the Mourne mountains in Co Down.


A talk on the legacy of the expedition has been scheduled as part of the weekend programme at Tollymore National Outdoor Centre near Newcastle, Co Down.

Elsewhere, more than 700 people will mark the anniversary with a “Dublin mountains challenge” to raise funds for the Barretstown charity to help children and families affected by cancer and other serious illnesses.

40km walk

Five Irish people to summit Everest – John Burke, Kieran Lally, Derek Mahon, Rory McHugh and Rob Mortell – will also participate on Sunday in a 40km walk across the Dublin Mountains from Tallaght via the Hell Fire Club and Three Rock mountain to Shankill.

The Dublin event is hosted by the Ireland on Everest project, which involves four mountaineers who aim to climb the world's highest peak within the next two years.

Jenny Copeland, a physiotherapist and mother of four, from Drumree, Co Meath, said the group of four mountaineers met through Irish Everest summiteer Ian Taylor.

The four set a common goal of emphasising team, rather than individual, performance on Everest – mirroring the ethos of the first Irish expedition in 1993.

They have already climbed the 6,189m Island Peak in Nepal as part of their preparation.

With Ms Copeland are Seamus (Shay) Lawless, a professor of computer science at Trinity College, Dublin; Emma Hickey, a recruitment and business manager; and Suzanne Stroker, who works in the Chief State Solicitor's office in Dublin.

Ms Copeland and Mr Lawless are due to leave for Denali, which at 6,190m is North America’s highest mountain, next month.

The Ireland on Everest group aims to place as many members of the expedition team as possible on the summit, and to raise awareness of the impact of climate change and dramatically receding glaciers on the landscape and people of the Everest region.

Lorna Siggins

Lorna Siggins

Lorna Siggins is the former western and marine correspondent of The Irish Times