A CORK woman who died while climbing Mount Kilimanjaro has been described as a “wonderful person who was full of energy”.
Majella Duffy, from Rathcormac, was in her mid-thirties and was a competitive bodybuilder and fitness enthusiast. She had travelled to Tanzania on Wednesday to raise funds for the Irish Heart Foundation.
Ms Duffy worked for Laya Healthcare in Little Island for almost 10 years. Managing Director Dónal Clancy said everyone at the company was devastated by news of her death.
“We are all very upset, she had a lot of friends in the company,” he said. “She was just a lovely lady.
“She was an only child and we are heartbroken for her mother and family.”
Fermoy Councillor Deirdre O’Brien knew Ms Duffy and said the Irish Heart Foundation was close to her heart after the death of her father at a young age.
“Her father had died as a result of heart disease, and in recent times she was working on fundraising for Irish Heart Foundation because of that,” Ms O’Brien said.
Ms Duffy had explained the reasons for her trip to Kilimanjaro on her online fundraising page, saying
“I lost my dad who was only 47 years old to a massive heart attack 15 years ago. My entire life turned upside down in just a few minutes and was never going to be the same again.”
Anne Riordan, Regional Manager of the Irish Heart Foundation, expressed their sympathy to Ms Duffy’s family.
“We are devastated at the news. She was a wonderful person and so full of energy. She has done a lot of fundraising for us. It is terrible and we extend our condolences to her family.”
Last week Ms Duffy had shared news of successful fundraising on Instagram.
She posted a picture of a charity cheque presentation and said: “Thank you to everyone who supported and donated to the Irish Heart Foundation. I am proud to say we raised €8,727.60. I am so overwhelmed at how generous people are, the support and help I got organising the events was amazing. Thank you to my family, friends, neighbours, community and new people that I have met through the fundraising. Thank you with all my heart.”
She was a popular member of the NRG Fitness gym in Little Island and had trained for bodybuilding shows.
Friends have described her as “lovely person” who was mad about her dogs.
It is unclear how she died but it is believed she became unwell and was attended by a doctor at the scene but died shortly after 8am yesterday local time.
Ms Duffy had travelled to Africa with the Dublin-based adventure travel company Earth’s Edge.
In a statement, the company said: “A client of ours passed away on the 14th July while on Kilimanjaro. Our thoughts and condolences are with her family. We will provide further information on this incident in due course.”
A Department of Foreign Affairs spokesman confirmed officers were liaising with the victim’s family in relation to the repatriation of the body.