The formidable Kerry mountains, boasting Ireland's highest peak Carrauntoohil are a tantalising prospect for climbers, but they are also the location for numerous climbing accidents.
In 1966 two climbers died on the Kerry mountains including Dublin student Myles Kinsella who was missing for three weeks before his body was found by a search party. His death was the motivation behind the foundation of the Kerry Mountain Rescue Association, mostly made up from climbers from Killarney, Killorglin and Glencar.
These volunteers use makeshift equipment for their manoeuvres, some of it borrowed from the Gardaí. To run an efficient service £350 is required, but to date, they have received no financial help from local authorities and rely solely on contributions from members.
Volunteers explain why they are willing to give up their spare time without any remuneration. Many of them enjoy mountain climbing and have been part of search and rescue parties in the past. But they believe coming together as an organised association is key to saving lives.
There are so many accidents on the mountain nowadays we feel that a bit better organisation could save some of these lives.
Paddy O’Connell a volunteer and a member of Kerry County Council is campaigning for funds for the Rescue Association. He is just one of 26 County Councillors but thinks nobody on the Council would object to a subscription. He is adamant the Council need to provide money to protect the ever-increasing about of climbers in the area.
If we cannot provide the service people are going to die on those hills like they did last year.
This episode of ‘Newsbeat’ was broadcast on 14 February 1967. The reporter is Bill O'Herlihy.