Mountain rescuers extend condolences to family of Tipperary woman who died in Comeraghs

SEMRA thanks all who assisted them in the search operation

Aileen Hahesy


Aileen Hahesy

Gillian Ryan

The late Gillian Ryan who died in an accident at the Comeragh Mountains at the weekend

The South Eastern Mountain Rescue team has paid tribute to the emergency agencies, local volunteers, businesses and mountain rescue colleagues from around the country who assisted them in the search for Tipperary mother-of-two Gillian Ryan, whose body was found in the Comeragh Mountains on Monday. 

SEMRA has also extended its sincere sympathy to the family and friends of 37-year-old Ms Ryan, a well known Thurles Crokes AC athlete from Horse & Jockey, who went missing on Sunday afternoon while hiking in the popular Coumshingaun area of the Comeraghs in County Waterford. 

South Eastern Mountain Rescue Association PRO Chris Pires said the association wished to thank An Garda Siochana, the Coast Guard Helicopter Rescue 117, Search & Rescue Dog Association Ireland  (SARDA), Civil Defence, Kerry Mountain Rescue, the Glen of Imaal Mountain Rescue, Dublin Wicklow Mountain Rescue and Galway Mountain Rescue team.

“We also wish to thank all of the individuals, scout troops and walking clubs who offered to join the search and to those individuals, local businesses and our colleagues in mountain rescue teams throughout Ireland who provided or offered valuable support during the operation.”

“Our thoughts and sincere condolences are with the family and friends of the deceased," he added. 

The search for Gillian Ryan began on Sunday after her family alerted the emergency services around 3pm after she failed to return from her hike on the Coumshingaun Loop of the Comeraghs. The operation continued late into the night and resumed at first light on Monday morning. 

At approximately 6.30pm on Monday, a search team located the body of the missing walker in a steep gully above the lake.   The Gardai were notified and a South Eastern Mountain Rescue team member remained at the scene throughout the night. 

The operation to recover Ms Ryan's body from the mountains began early on Tuesday morning but was hampered by low cloud cover. Ms Ryan's body was airlifted to Waterford University Hospital on Tuesday evening.

Gillian Ryan's death has deeply shocked and saddened her local community, her many friends in athletics and all who knew her. She is survived by her husband Conor and two children Conor and Amelia. 

Thurles Crokes Athletics Club expressed its members heartbreak at Gillian Ryan’s death and extended condolences to her grieving family in a message it posted on its Facebook page.

“It is with absolute shock and heartbreak that we announce the untimely passing of our beautiful friend and athlete Gillian.

“She was so full of love and positivity. Running with Gillian made the many miles fly by in laughter and chat,” the club added.