A 17 year old Kilkenny teenager is preparing to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa.
Tadhg O’Carroll, Shellumsrath House, Kilkenny, is one of a 100 strong Irish student group which will next month scale the 19,341 foot mountain in Tanzania as part of a joint fund-raising venture for Our Lady’s Hospital for Sick Children, Crumlin, and The Chernobyl Childrens Fund.
Tadhg, son of Billy and Mary O’Carroll, is a past pupil of St Patrick’s National School, Kilkenny and St Kieran’s College. He is about to enter 5th year at Clongowes Wood College, Co Kildare.
In March of this year Ian McKeever, co-ordinator for the Kilimanjaro climb project addressed students in Clongowes and sought volunteers for the venture. Tadhh’s hand shot up immediately and since then the Kilkenny teenager has been immersed in preparations for the climb.
In order to qualify for participation in the African climb Tadhg has to raise in the region of €5,000. To date any monies raised has been through the generosity of private donations.
On this coming Friday morning (July 27) Tadhg is staging a fund-raising Coffee Morning at St Fiacre’s, Loughboy when, besides beautiful coffee there will be some delicious home baking on offer and a raffle will be held. Friday, of course, marks the start of the 20th Olympiad in London – Kilimanjaro is Tadhg’s Olympics.
Tadgh told The People he has been training hard for the climb, which commences on Saturday, August 18 to Saturday, August 25 and will involve five days climbing and one day’s descent. The final day’s climbing to the top will be the toughest.
But if and when the 100-strong Irish group of teenage students make it to the summit it will represent the largest number ever to have scaled Kilimanjaro together. That will certainly be a picture for the O’Carroll family album.
In preparation for next month’s climb, Tadhg has climbed Slievenamon, completing the Co Tipperary climb and descent in 90 minutes. He has undertaken a steep climb at Glendalough which he had to undertake eight times consecutively. The timescale allowed was four hours – Tadhg did it in 90 minutes – the record being 75 minutes.
He has also climbed Carrantuhill in Kerry, Ireland’s highest peak (3,414 feet) and has undertaken climbing experience in Galway.
Tadhg, who has a younger brother Shane (16), is a very keen sportsman. He is a dedicated follower of the Kilkenny hurlers and has played Gaelic football for his county at minor level. He also plays rugby with Kilkenny RFC.
It is a brave undertaking by the Kilkenny lad and the public can show their support for his commendable voluntary spirit by supporting Friday’s Coffee Morning which will last from 10.30 am to 12 noon. All are welcome.
The overall aim of the climb is to raise a total of €100,000 for the two very worthy causes.
Anyone wishing to help Tadhg’s venture in any way can do by ringing his dad on 087 2617853.