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Sunday, August 03, 2008

Family confirm they believe missing climber has died

"A great son, brother and friend"

The family of missing climber Gerard McDonnell have confirmed in a statement to the media today that they understand the 37 year old has died on the K2 mountain in northern Pakistan.

Speaking this afternoon on behalf of the family ,Gerards bother in law ,Damien O'Brien told the media that they were extremely proud of the man who has brought honour to the family,

”We are extremely proud of the many heroic and brave achievements of our son and brother Gerard.

The last few days have been a roller coaster of emotions as we celebrated with joy his historic achievement and now we must try to come to terms with the untimely loss of a great son, brother and friend."
Irish President Mary McAleese has paid tribute to Mr. McDonnell and his family,

"Following so closely on their righteous pride, and that of the country, at Gerard becoming the first Irish person to scale K2, it is truly heartbreaking that they must now contemplate the loss of a beloved son and brother."
Reports now say at up to 11 people may have died on the mountain after an avalanche of ice trapped the group in a dangerous section of the mountain on Friday night.

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