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Irish Times -Inquest CoverageI believe that the Irish Times continues have the best national coverage of hillwalking and environmental issues. Typically there is a good note of the recent Mayo Inquest into the death by heart attack of a regular Croagh Patrick walker. May I express condolences to the family of the deceased.
"Inquest warning for climbers
ANYONE WITH a history of heart problems or the lung disease emphysema should think carefully before deciding to climb mountains such as Croagh Patrick, Co Mayo, a pathologist has advised.
Dr Fadel Bennani, consultant pathologist at Mayo General Hospital, made his comments at an inquest in Castlebar into the death of John Walsh, Derrygolan, Tullamore, Co Offaly, whose body was found by a fellow pilgrim on the summit of Croagh Patrick on November 25th last.
Mr Walsh (62) was in the habit of climbing the mountain “twice a week, every week”, according to one of his brothers, Frank, who lived with him. Dr Bennani said Mr Walsh, who was single, had died from natural causes.
The postmortem showed acute myocardial infarction due to occlusive coronary atheroma, he said. Asked by the coroner John O’Dwyer about the health risks and strain associated with climbing mountains such as Croagh Patrick, Dr Bennani said oxygen levels would diminish with altitude and this could be stressful on the lungs and heart. There was also a danger, especially in winter, of hypothermia, Dr Bennani added.
Returning a verdict of death from natural causes and expressing sympathy with bereaved relatives, Mr O’Dwyer urged public support for Mayo Mountain Rescue and other voluntary rescue groups.
“I would hope that in these stringent times money can be found to give them the support they need,” he added." (Irish Times 17th April 2012)
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