The deaths of Tipperary Co. Council engineer Peter Britton and his friend, Colm Ennis, a former staff member of the C&C Group in Clonmel, in a mountaineering accident in the French Alps has shocked and devastated their families and many friends.
Mr Britton, aged 55 from Prior Park Tce., Clonmel and Mr Ennis, aged 37, from Waterford City died after they fell 200ft on the descent from the summit of Europe’s highest peak, Mont Blanc, on Sunday afternoon.
Both men were founding members of Rathgormack Climbing Club and were very experienced mountaineers.
Mr Britton was a dedicated and popular acting Senior Engineer in Tipperary Co. Council’s Roads Department and worked with the Council and its predecessor South Tipperary Co. Council for more than 10 years.
There were glowing tributes to Mr Britton’s work this week from council colleagues, councillors, TDs and Tipperary’s two government ministers, all of whom paid tribute to his professionalism and courtesy.
He is survived by his wife Carol, a librarian at Carrick-on-Suir Library, and his children Christopher, Cormack and Laura.
In a statement Mr Britton’s grieving family said: “Peter and Colm were firm friends and had many years experience as an Alpine climbing team, and their loss is an unspeakable tragedy.”
The Brittons said their thoughts were with the family of Colm Ennis and they asked for privacy in dealing with the loss of a loving husband and father.
Mr Ennis had a strong connection to Clonmel.
He worked in the Human Resources Department of drinks company C&C in the town for five years up to July last year when he was appointed HR manager with Amazon in Cork.
The C&C Group said it was saddened at the sudden and tragic death of Colm, who was a well-liked member of the team and will be sadly missed by his former colleagues in Clonmel.
The families of both men are now making the heartbreaking arrangements to return their loved ones remains to Ireland.
The Department of Foreign Affairs said it was providing them with consular assistance.