Members of Mayo Mountain Rescue were recently honoured as guests of President Michael D Higgins and his wife at a garden party in Áras an Uachtaráin. The occasion was to acknowledge the hard work done by all the voluntary rescue services in Ireland.
Mary Walsh, team leader of Mayo Mountain Rescue, said it was a great honour that the work of the Mayo team, and all voluntary teams, were honoured and acknowledged in this way. She pointed out that over the last 10 days, after a period of inactivity; the Mayo team was involved in rescuing four people off the hills in Mayo.
Two people were rescued off Croagh Patrick last week which involved the Mayo team working with the Irish Coast Guard in transporting a casualty with head injuries to Mayo General Hospital in Castlebar. A second casualty was also air lifted off the mountain at the same time, and brought to Mayo General. It is understood that neither casualty sustained life threatening injuries.
Earlier last week members of the team were involved in assisting two climbers off Meelrea Mountain. The couple got disorientated due to foggy conditions on the hills but were brought to safety by team members.
Once again as the team prepare for its busiest weekend of the year, the National Pilgrimage to Croagh Patrick on Sunday July 29, when some 20,000 people are expected to climb the mountain, Ms Walsh urged all climbers to be safety aware and take the following precautions: Have plenty of water, wear proper clothing and footwear; bring a stick to aid the climb and descent; climb and return at a steady pace. Most accidents happen when people lose their foot grip and tumble and fall; take regular breaks.
Ms Walsh praised the work of all the agencies; Mayo County Council, HSE, Order of Malta, Civil Defence, Air Corps, the Church, Gardaí, local communities, the Scouts, and others involved in co-ordinating the efforts to ensure that all climbers have a safe and enjoyable climb.