Three injured climbers have been rescued from a Co Wicklow mountain cliff-face by abseiling rescue teams and a helicopter in a major operation involving around 40 rescuers.

The Glen of Imaal Red Cross and Dublin Wicklow mountain rescue teams were scrambled following a 999 call that a group of climbers at a cliff at Luggala were in difficulty when one of them fell with two others injured. 

The Irish Coast Guard helicopter flew mountain rescue teams, HSE and mountain rescue advanced paramedics to the top of the main face of the cliff.

A male climber was airlifted to hospital at around 8pm as light was fading last night while another was walked off the mountain.  

Rescuers abseiled to the 3rd most critically injured climber in worsening weather and darkness.

The man was lowered down the cliff-face by stretcher before being taken to a waiting ambulance. 

He is recovering in hospital with multiple fractures. 

Two other climbers who had been climbing alongside the original group were also helped down the cliff-face and a third group of three were taken to the rescue base at Laragh.

Rescue teams have returrned at the area again today to collect equipment and ropes which had to be left behind in darkness in the emergency mission which ended at 1.30am.