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I won't do a Georgia...Everest is in my sights says Aoibhinn

FAIR City star Aoibhinn Garrihy will swap the cobbles of Carrigstown for the hills of the Himalayas as she gets set to climb Mount Everest for charity.

The Clare actress, who plays Neasa Dillon in the RTE soap, will be taking part in a trek up the mountain in two weeks, to help raise much needed funds for the Irish charity Lotus, which focuses on bringing education to impoverished areas of India.

Speaking to the Herald, Aoibhinn (23) admitted that she was disappointed that top model Georgia Salpa pulled out of her climb up Kilimanjaro for the Make A Wish Foundation last week, claiming she wasn't fit enough. The soap star said that these type of climbs don't require a high level of fitness and Georgia should have taken the chance.

"You won't know until you are out there. It's really a shame that Georgia pulled out. She should have gone for it. I have had no hiking experience either so this is really a first time for me. The important thing is to just get used to the walking.

"I went up Carrauntoohil and the Wicklow Mountains as much as we could and I tried to get to the gym as much as possible. But honestly, I think anyone can manage it. It's just the altitude that's going to be the main factor.

"It will be tough going but if you have a certain level of fitness it will be okay.

"It's a 14-day trek starting at the base of the Himalayas and there will be no proper showers. We will be walking six hours every day for two weeks so it will be tough. But I'm all geared up for it now, it's a huge adventure for me," she explained.



School

And Aoibhinn will have a helping hand when she is taking part in the gruelling hike. The TV star says she is dragging her boyfriend of two years up the mountain with her after they spend a week in Kolkata, building a new school for an impoverished community.

"My boyfriend is into mountaineering and really into climbing so this is like his compromise. He's coming to build the school with me as well and then we will be heading up Everest together in aid of the school as well.

"The plan is to build a school in one week. Me and 18 Irish volunteers will be going over to a small community called Chaugola, a rural area outside Kolkata.

"It will be a school for 115 children and will act as a general education centre," she explained. But while Aoibhinn may be out of the country for the next three weeks, she won't be off our TV screens.

The talented actress says she has been filming scenes back to back over the past two weeks so she could have all the Christmas episodes done before she left. "I've been filming back to back in Fair City so I could do all of this. We have been filming the Christmas episodes and there is lots of drama between Neasa's family and the affair and everything, so it's been really hectic, along with the fundraising," she added.

hnews@herald.ie