herald

Thursday 17 October 2019

'Climbing Everest was his childhood dream' - pal of missing Seamus

Seamus Lawless’s family are seeking search donations
Seamus Lawless’s family are seeking search donations

A friend of missing Mount Everest climber Seamus Lawless has said it was always the Bray man's dream to climb the world's tallest mountain.

Cliff Taylor, who has known Seamus since they were friends as children, described how even back then he had dreams of scaling Everest and had a picture on his wall.

Clever

"He's wanted to climb Everest since he was a child," Mr Taylor told the Herald.

"Seamus grew up in the Fassaroe area of Bray, and he was really clever. He was getting straight As and did really well in school.

"When he was a young boy his dad got him a National Geographic magazine and there was a picture of Mount Everest in it.

"He had that picture hanging on his wall at home and always wanted to climb that mountain."

Cliff said he would still bump into Seamus from time to time.

"He's just a really decent guy and it's a shock that this has happened," he said.

Hopes of finding Seamus alive faded quickly on the treacherous mountain when he failed to make it to camp with his climbing party.

They had successfully climbed the mountain hours earlier in their quest to raise money for the Barretstown House children's charity.

Yesterday Seamus's father and other relatives gathered at his Bray home to be with his pregnant wife, Pam.

Meanwhile, the Government will offer any support it can to help efforts to find the missing climber on Mount Everest, Tanaiste Simon Coveney said.

The search for Seamus, also known as Shay, was changed to a recovery operation over the weekend.

Many people who perish on Everest are not recovered as it can prove dangerous for search teams to continue when all hope of survival is gone.

Mr Coveney said he had spoken to Mr Lawless' wife several times over the weekend and discussed how the Government could help.

The Trinity College professor's family has launched a fundraising campaign to help finance expensive search efforts.

By yesterday evening the GoFundMe account was heading toward €250,000 with the aim of raising €750,000.

"With the weekend upon us, we, the family of Shay, have been left with no other option but to ask for assistance in raising funds to gather a team of expert Sherpas to locate and bring our beloved Shay home to Ireland," the GoFundMe page said.

Challenge

"He set out on this incredible journey to summit Mount Everest not only to challenge himself but to raise vital funds on behalf of Barretstown, a charity that provides respite and recreation to children with serious illnesses.

"At this moment in time we have little to no information about what happened on May 16, nor do we know the current location of Shay.

"It's our priority to locate him and bring him home and we appreciate all the support that can be offered as we face this hugely challenging situation."

To donate, you can go to gofundme.com/seamus-lawless

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