Woman (51) dies while climbing Galtee mountains with young children

Cora O’Grady collapsed on Saturday when she became unwell near Galtymore summit

A 51-year-old woman who died while participating with her two young children in a Climb with Charlie charity event in the Galtee mountains in Co Tipperary on Saturday has been named locally.

Cora O’Grady from Lui na Greine, Ballinwillin in Mitchelstown, Co Cork, was climbing Galtymore with her children, Luke (11) and Lily (8), when she took ill on the mountain.

Ms O’Grady was one of a group climbing Galtymore in one of almost 200 fundraising climbing events nationwide to support former RTÉ broadcaster Charlie Bird who was climbing Croagh Patrick in Mayo.

Mr Bird, who has motor neurone disease, was climbing Croagh Patrick with hundreds of supporters to raise funds for the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association and suicide charity Pieta House.


Tens of thousands of supporters participating in climbs in Ireland as well as in the United States, South Africa and Spain have so far raised more than €2 million for the two charities.

It is understood Ms O’Grady was near the summit of 918metre-high Galtymore at about 1pm when she collapsed and the alarm was raised. The Irish Community Air Ambulance from Cork attended the scene.

Ms O’Grady was treated by paramedics but failed to regain consciousness and she was pronounced dead at the scene at about 2pm. Gardaí from Cahir were notified of the tragedy.

Ms O’Grady’s body was removed from the mountain and taken to University Hospital Waterford where a postmortem was scheduled to take place to establish the cause of death.

A Garda spokesman described the death as “a terrible tragedy” and said gardaí will include the postmortem results in a file they will prepare for an inquest at South Tipperary Coroner’s Court.

Ms O’Grady’s two young children were on Saturday night being comforted by relatives in Mitchelstown where news of her sudden death was greeted with shock and sadness.

“It’s desperately sad news here. Cora was out early with a large group climbing Galtymore to raise money for a very worthy cause and for it to turn to tragedy like this is just shocking,” said one local.

Barry Roche

Barry Roche

Barry Roche is Southern Correspondent of The Irish Times