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'He lived life to the fullest': Tributes to man who died after fall on Carrauntoohil

Ger Duffy was described as a kind man who would help anyone.

A major search and recovery operation took place over several hours on the mountain on Saturday.
A major search and recovery operation took place over several hours on the mountain on Saturday.
Image: Shutterstock

THE SISTER OF a man who died while climbing Carrauntoohil in Co Kerry last weekend has paid tribute to the “hero” father of three.

Miriam Duffy said her family are trying to come to terms with the sudden loss of her brother Ger Duffy, who was 59.

Ger Duffy was a native of St Joseph Street, Limerick city, and was living in Clonlara, Co Clare. He died on Saturday after falling on the mountain.

An experienced mountain climber, he had been accompanied by a male friend at the time, explained his sister.

“We believe he was making his way up the mountain, and as he gripped something it crumbled in his hand and he fell,” his sister said.

A major search and recovery operation took place over several hours on Saturday, which involved Kerry Mountain Rescue Team and the Coast Guard Rescue Helicopter 116.

Miriam Duffy thanked all those who helped recover her brother’s body.

A post mortem was conducted at Tralee General Hospital and Mr Duffy’s body was later taken to his home in Clonlara where he will be waked tomorrow.

Ger was also passionate about motorbikes which fitted in well with his “love” of the “outdoors”.

“He was such a kind guy and he would have helped anybody that ever needed it,” said his sister, who is well known in her role as Director of Rape Crisis Midwest.

He was only in Cambodia a few weeks ago, on a motorbike tour, and he was up a mountain in Wales a few weeks before that. He loved the outdoors life, he was very fit, and he lived his life to the fullest.

“He was the best brother you could ever wish for. His wife Carmel – and his children Siobhan (24), Aisling (22), and Gavin (18) – who were his pride and joy – idolised him.”

Duffy fondly recalled how Ger had “delivered” his daughter Aishling as he and his wife were making their way to the Limerick’s maternity hospital.

Ger and Carmel were on their way to the maternity, and as they were crossing Thomond Bridge there was a shout from Carmel to ‘stop the car’. Ger delivered Aisling himself there on the bridge. He certainly was a hero, in every sense of the word.

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Family friend and Fine Gael Senator, Maria Byrnes, offering her sympathies to the Duffy family, said he was “a gentleman” who had been “taken too young”.

Mayor of Clare, Independent councillor Michael Begley, also paid a personal tribute as “a neighbour, a friend, and as mayor of Clare”.

“I’d like to express my sympathies to the Duffy family, and their relatives in the extended parish. It’s a terrible tragedy,” Begley added.

Some of Ger Duffy’s friends in the biker community, posted tributes online. One wrote: “A total gent. May he Rest In Peace.”

“Tragic news..a lovely gentleman..devastating loss for everyone who knew him,” posted another.

His funeral will take place on Wednesday at St Senan’s Church in Clonlara. 

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David Raleigh

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