The 62-year-old man who was found dead on Croagh Patrick on Friday died of a heart attack after climbing the mountain on Thursday afternoon. Contrary to earlier reports, he did not sustain any injuries before he died.
John ‘Vincent’ Walsh, a beekeeper from Tullamore, Co Offaly, was a regular climber of the mountain. His body was found just 700 yards from the Oratory where he regularly prayed.
The deceased man travelled from his home in Tullamore to climb Croagh Patrick every Tuesday and Thursday for a number of years and was described as a ‘deeply religious’ man who would spend a number of hours on the mountain.
Matt Loughrey, who climbed Croagh Patrick every day for 12 months last year, told The Mayo News that everyone knew him as ‘Vincent’ and that his presence on the mountain will be dearly missed by the frequent climbers.
He said that Mr Walsh, a single man, was a pure and quiet person who climbed Croagh Patrick for religious reasons, and that he felt his death on the summit of the mountain was a ‘good way for him to go’.
“We passed Vincent by a number of times a day during the challenge and he was a quiet and peaceful man. He was a regular sight up the mountain and his passing has come as a real shock because he always prepared for the climb … While he was not a person for speaking much, he would always give you a nod when you’d meet him. It is quite upsetting to know he is gone, and he will be sadly missed,” he said.
Mr Walsh’s body was found on the summit by a group of climbers at around 11.30am on Friday and they raised the alarm. A winchman was lowered from the Coastguard helicopter and when he confirmed Mr Walsh’s death, Mayo Mounatin Rescue were deployed to recover the body.
A postmortem took place over the weekend in Mayo General Hospital. It confirmed that Mr Walsh did not suffer a fall and had died from a heart attack. Inspector Joe McKenna confirmed that Mr Walsh had not been reported missing when his body was discovered.
Shane McGuire of Mayo Mountain Rescue recommended that people climbing mountains should tell people when they are climbing and to always climb in pairs.