Men who died on Mourne Mountains over weekend named

Sean Byrne and Robbie Robertson both fell when high winds hit the mountain range

The two men who lost their lives in separate incidents in the Mourne Mountains on Sunday have been named as father-of-four Sean Byrne and former police officer Robbie Robertson.

Both men fell when the mountains were hit by high winds on Sunday.

Mr Byrne was from Camlough, Co Armagh. He fell 30 metres in hazardous conditions around midday on Sunday.

The Mourne Mountain Rescue Team were quickly on the scene and they tasked Rescue Helicopter 116 from Dublin, but it was unable to assist because of the strong winds.


Mr Byrne died on the mountain and his body was escorted down by members of the team. He was a prominent member of the Craobh Rua hurling club in Camlough.

The club posted on its Facebook page: "The news of our respected former treasurer and esteemed trustee's death has devastated us all.

“He had a great love for our club and he showed this over the years by the giving freely of his time and experience to help us develop and become rooted within our community.

“He possessed great gifts of commitment, integrity, calmness and care. He loved his family, his community, Gaelic sport and culture.

“No words we can say will lessen the shock and pain of his family as they struggle to come to terms with this news. However we will be there for them just as Seán had been here for us over the past thirty years.

“We convey our deepest sympathies to the families of both those killed whilst climbing yesterday in the Mourne Mountains.”

Mr Robertson died after he slid down a crag (sharp piece of isolated rock) near the slope of Slieve Commedagh, the second highest peak in the Mourne Mountains.

He was married with a family and lived in Banbridge, Co Down. Mr Robertson was a keen walker and co-ordinated the church fete of Holy Trinity Church in the town.

A walking companion of Mr Robertson became cragfast (stuck on the rock) and called for assistance.

On its Facebook page, the Mourne Mountain Rescue Team posted: “A crew was dispatched to the scene and unfortunately found that the fall had again been fatal.

Team members set up a rope rescue to bring his cragfast companion to safety and recovered the deceased with assistance from the PSNI search and rescue team.

The team described two fatal incidents in the same day as an “ anomalous situation and our thoughts and sympathies are with the families of the deceased”.

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy is a news reporter with The Irish Times