A Tuam man is planning to reach new and greater heights this year when he takes on the gruelling challenge of climbing the Mount Everest to help raise funds for suicide and self-harm prevention charity Pieta House.
Climbing enthusiast Peter O’Connell from Dangan, Tuam, Co Galway, is currently making preparations for the expedition of a lifetime and is filled with hope of becoming the first Galway man to climb the world’s highest mountain. Setting off on April 4 the ten week challenge will see Mr O’Connell reach the summit of Mount Everest in late May.
The ‘Everest for Pieta’ is entirely funded by Mr O’Connell, through his construction company O’Connell Construction - OCC, however, he is taking this opportunity to help raise funds for Pieta House, a charity which is close to his heart.
Commenting on the challenge and the reasons for undertaking it, Mr O’Connell said: “I feel I should make the most of this opportunity to help raise funds and awareness for this important charity that actually saves lives. Unfortunately suicide is something that affects everybody and a little help can go a long way. It all just fell into place when I contacted Pieta House and they told me they hoped to be opening a new centre in Tuam to service the west, only a few miles from my home.”
“To get the chance to climb Mount Everest means the world to me. I always thought it was just a dream and that only superstar mountaineers could go to Everest, but I put my mind to achieving this goal in 2011 and have been working hard since to achieve it. I believe if someone else can do it then so can I, and if you put your mind to something you desire, no matter what it is, if you want it enough, it can be achieved.”
Pieta House is a non-profit organisation that provides a free, specialised treatment programme for people who have suicidal thoughts or engage in self-harming. If successful Mr O’Connell will join the elite group of only 33 Irish people to climb Mount Everest. Standing at 8,848 meters the world’s highest mountain has been climbed by just over 3,000 people since Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay conquered it in 1953.
To support this campaign log on to www.idonate.ie/peteroconnelleverestforpieta2013 One hundred per cent of the funds raised go directly to Pieta House. To follow Peter’s progress, follow him on facebook at www.facebook.com/Peteroconnelleverestforpieta or check out the website www.occo.ie/everest