Everest climber, 56, sent haunting final text telling wife ‘I’ve done it… I’m coming home’ before falling 1,600ft to his death on descent

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AN Irish climber who fell to his death on Mount Everest sent his pregnant wife a final text saying: ‘I’ve done it… I’m coming home’.

Up to a thousand people gathered at the funeral of Seamus Lawless to celebrate the life of the father-of-one who left an “imprint on everyone” yesterday.

Seamus Lawless, 39, fell to his death on Mount Everest after texting his pregnant wife to say he was coming home
Mountaineer Seamus had reached the summit of the world’s tallest mountain hours before his tragic fall

Mr Lawless, 39, a professor of artificial intelligence at Trinity College Dublin, died just hours after summitting Mt Everest twelve days ago as the recovery operation for another Irishman Kevin Hynes’ remains continues.

The dad sent a final text to his expectant wife Pamela from Everest’s summit saying “he’d done it, reached the summit and was coming home”, parish priest Fr Michael O’Kelly said.

Just hours after summiting the world’s highest mountain, Mr Lawless fell up to 500m during his descent from an altitude of 8300m, in an area known as the balcony.

It was his ambition to climb Everest before he turned 40 this July.

His wife Pam along with their four-year-old daughter Emma were accompanied to the celebration service of Shay’s life by his parents Betty and Jimmy, brother Ciarán, Deirdre, Sheila, Fidelma, Jemma and Eilis, large extended family and wide circle of friends.

GUARD OF HONOUR

The family received a guard of honour from Barrettstown members – the charity Mr Lawless had climbed Everest in aid of.

Close childhood friend Rob Ward told mourners: “During the past week, I had the chance to go through a book of previous memories his wife Pam has. It has stories of their hikes, playing and stories, they did together as a family with Emma.

“Shay adored them and he told Emma, ‘Don’t go growing up on me. Keep staying the way you are until I come back.’

“It is fitting now that Shay’s final resting place is on top of the world. Rest in peace my friend.”

Symbols of the much loved father were brought to the altar by his nieces, nephews and daughter Emma. The little girl carried a book filled with treasures and memories of their happy lives together, while other symbols included, a Celtic cross, books which he adored, and an Ireland, Bray and Everton jerseys marking his love of soccer.

POIGNANT PHOTO

His nephew Jack brought a special photograph of Mr Lawless as he sumitted Everest at sunrise.

Prayers were offered by the Bray man’s friends for Seven Summits Treks, the expedition company whom Mr Lawless climbed with, and for lead guide Noel Hanna and the skilled sherpas who insisted on attempting a search and recovery mission for his remains.

Other prayers were offered for all of those who have lost their lives on Everest, the generosity of the public in helping to raise funds for the recovery operation and Barretstown.

Thanks were also given to help offered by the Government, fellow climber Jenny Copeland, Trinity colleagues, the Irish Everest team and other organisations.


Parish Priest Fr Michael O’Kelly said: “He didn’t take the normal route in life to achieve his summits or goals through his work from Irish Life, then a night-time computer course, on to Trinity College as a lecturer and then a professor.

“The first mountain he climbed was Mount McKinley in Alaska and many more were to follow.

“The last text Pam, who have been together 20 years, received from Shay was from Everest’s summit saying, he’d done it, reached the summit and was coming home. His words have taken on a new meaning and a new summit.”


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