Woman hillwalker found dead in Galway hotel named

Mother of five Betty Harrington (64) was one of the top hillwalkers in Ireland, her club said

The woman found dead in a hotel room in Co Galway earlier this week has been named as Betty Harrington, a mother of five from Cork .

Her body was discovered at the Connemara Lake Hotel in Oughterard shortly before noon on Monday. She was among a group of walkers who were staying in the area for a few days.

Guests at the hotel were evacuated amid concerns that carbon monoxide may have caused the death.

Two other hotel guests received treatment at University Hospital Galway on Monday after they became unwell. They were subsequently released from hospital.


Gardaí­ and the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) are awaiting the results of a postmortem carried out on Mrs Harrington.

Mrs Harrington (64) was the “very essence of life” and a much loved parent, grandmother and childminder, according to the local priest in her parish of Donoughmore, Co Cork. Fr Jeremiah O’Riordan said she was a fit, active woman who utterly embraced life.

“Betty was always walking and cycling. She was a very lively person who was as fit as anything, involved in hill walking and set dancing. She was a great mother. That was her true vocation. Her children are all grown up now.

“She was also a childminder. A woman was telling me at Mass that if Betty was minding your child you knew the child was being minded. Mind you she wasn’t one for babysitting inside. The kids would always be out cycling, running and walking.”

Fr O’Riordan said parishioners are attempting to “comprehend and come to terms” with the loss of Mrs Harrington.

“She was a good living woman. She was a very positive person who spoke well of everyone.”

Mrs Harrington was an active member of a hillwalking club in Bishopstown on the southside of the city and was out exploring the country most weekends.

Bishopstown Hillwalking Club paid tribute to Mrs Harrington. Club member Jim Harrington was among the group of hill walkers on the trip to Galway when Betty died.

"She was extremely fit. She did one of the toughest walks in Ireland in Galway. I walked with her quite often. She was a very outgoing, sociable fun person. She just loved hillwalking. Her sister and her brother are also hillwalkers. We have received an astronomical number of calls since this happened. Betty was one of the top hillwalkers in Ireland."

Sean Cotter, who runs the club, said she was a "wonderful woman and a fabulous walker".

Mrs Harrington will repose at her daughter Donna Lane's residence in Rylane, Co Cork on Thursday, 4.15pm-7.15pm, followed by removal to St Lachteen's Church, Stuake. Her funeral mass will take place on Friday at 12.30pm, followed by private cremation.

She is survived by her husband Donal (Dan), children Debbie, Jennifer, Donna, Daniel and Anne, her grandchildren and a wide circle of friends.