A hospital consultant aims to climb the highest peak in every county in Ireland in a week in memory of his sister-in-law.
Cork-based consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist, Richard Horgan is current training for the challenge, five years after the tragic death of his wife's youngest sister, Orla Gosnell who was 38 when she passed away.
Richard plans to scale Cuilcagh, covering counties Cavan and Fermanagh, on day two of his '32 County Peaks in a Week' challenge which kicks off on Sunday, with a minimum €10,000 target in aid of Cork University Maternity Hospital. He also plans to climb Slieve Beagh in Monaghan next Wednesday.
Richard will begin the daunting task of scaling summits in four to five counties each day, concluding with 918m Galtymore on the Limerick/Tipperary border. The determined dad-of-three has previously conquered Africa's highest peak, Kilimanjaro in 2011.
Dr Horgan is looking forward to taking on the mammoth challenge and also visiting this region on his fundraising journey. It will be a highly-emotional undertaking as he carries treasured memories of drama and singing enthusiast Orla with him.
“She was so dynamic, it was always about the solution rather than the problem with her,” he recalls. “She was never one to leave things slide, she would ask about things and was never one to avoid sensitive conversations if something needed to be said – and I admire that".
“She loved kids, was brilliant with them, loved being pregnant but always wanted to be involved and to know everything about her care. This lives on in her five fabulous kids. “What has always been to the forefront in my work is the patient’s experience, the mother’s experience, even in bad outcomes and to make the experience as positive as we can".
“When I walk into the maternity hospital, there are magnificent glass corridors and there’s an opportunity to install benches or seats, we have three floors to work with and could do it on all floors. “It is simply somewhere patients, their partners and staff can go and sit, take a moment, have a chat, take a ‘phone call, have those few minutes".
The new space will include a symbol specifically remembering Orla and her many journeys in CUMH.
Richard’s fundraiser can be supported until August 6 at: www.idonate.ie/fundraiser/DrRichardHorgan32CountyPeaks