Republic of Ireland news

Tánaiste offers support to help find a missing Irish climber on Mount Everest

Prof Seamus Lawless
By David Young, Press Association

The Irish government will offer any support it can to help efforts to find a missing climber on Mount Everest, the tánaiste has said.

Seamus 'Shay' Lawless, from Bray, Co Wicklow, fell as he descended the peak on Thursday having just achieved a lifetime ambition of reaching the summit.

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

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

His relatives, who said Mr Lawless's insurers were not assisting in the search, have asked for the public's help to raise the money needed to gather a team of Sherpas to find him.

A GoFundMe page set up by the family on Friday night with a target of raising €750,000 (£660,000) had passed €215,000 in little over 36 hours.

Mr Coveney said the authorities in the Republic would help in any way possible.

"I have spoken to Pamela his wife on a number of occasions over the last 24 hours," he told RTÉ on Sunday.

"She is a remarkable woman and she is going through a nightmare that many of us simply can't imagine.

"We are willing to offer any support we can, either financial or organisational. She knows that."

Mr Lawless's colleagues at Trinity College organised a vigil on Saturday evening.

The climber was an assistant professor at the university's School of Computer Science.

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