herald

Sunday 19 February 2017

Stack raving mad

The climber, who goes by the name Oliver, says that the climb was made 'without safety equipment of any kind'
The climber, who goes by the name Oliver, says that the climb was made 'without safety equipment of any kind'

A young man who illegally climbed one of Dublin's iconic Poolbeg towers has had the stunt branded "sickening" and "selfish".

The climber, who goes by the name Oliver and boasted of not using safety equipment, uploaded video of his highly dangerous climb to the peak of a Poolbeg tower three weeks ago.

The footage is almost seven minutes long and shows him trespassing on the site before scaling a tower via a ladder.

Gardai are investigating the incident, which is believed to have happened at the well-known Dublin landmark at some stage last month.

Barry O'Leary, former secretary of the Irish Mountaineering club, condemned the stunt.

"It's nuts," he said. "People like this young man climb high buildings for a rush, an instant buzz and they do it quickly to get out of there before they're arrested.

"It's a selfish act. Just one small wrong move and they are going to die. There are no safety back-ups and there is no room for error," Mr O'Leary said.

Fall

"I know fellas who used to jump from the West-Link toll bridge and they had a car waiting for them at the bottom. They should know better and there is no coming back from a fall like that. A lot of this goes on and people just don't know about it.

"This is not a case of jumping from your uncle's shed roof on to a bed of nettles. No one should ever consider trying it. As well as the chances of falling to your death, it's illegal," he added.

The ESB, who manage the towers, described the stunt as "sickening".

"I would like to see the full rigour of the law used against this person," a spokesperson said.

"He put himself in danger but he also could have put emergency services into danger if they had been called out.

"We are really concerned about this video clip going viral now and the potential of copycats.

"People who do these dangerous things have to be aware it isn't just them who is put in danger. We are really shocked at it and we've reviewed the security we have in the area."

The ESB immediately contacted gardai at Irishtown after becoming aware of the YouTube video.

The escapade has been uploaded onto the YouTube account OJ Adventures.

'Oliver' said he was on a trip to Dublin and admits climbing on to Poolbeg on the website.

"It took me a while to get up the chimney and I was concerned about getting busted because I did it in the afternoon.

"I performed the climb without the use of safety equipment of any kind," he wrote.

Pat Falvey, the first climber from the Republic to reach the summit of Everest, said he admired the attitude of the youth.

"You have to give it him for doing it. He's saying you're not going to restrict me or my freedom," he said.

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