Consultant to scale peaks in 32 counties in fundraising tribute to sister-in-law

Consultant to scale peaks in 32 counties in fundraising tribute to sister-in-law
Richard Horgan, is taking on 32 County Peaks (Richard Horgan/PA)

A hospital consultant is preparing to climb the highest peak in every county on the island of Ireland in one week in memory of his sister-in-law.

Richard Horgan, a Cork-based consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist, will take on the challenge next month, almost five years on from the death of wife’s youngest sister, 38-year-old Orla Gosnell.

The consultant and father of three, who is aged in his 40s, will be raising money for Cork University Maternity Hospital, through the CUH Charity, with the hope of using funds raised to create dedicated spaces for patients and staff.

Orla Gosnell died months after delivering her fifth child at CUMH in 2018 (Richard Horgan/PA).

Ms Gosnell, a social care worker, died in December 2018, five months after delivering her fifth child at CUMH.

Dr Horgan’s ‘32 County Peaks in a Week’ challenge will see him attempt to scale summits in four to five counties each day.

It will conclude with one of Ireland’s highest mountains, the 918-metre high Galtymore on the Limerick/Tipperary border.

He hopes to be joined by Ms Gosnell’s husband Robert and other family members on that final ascent on July 22.

The medic, who is an avid hill walker who previously conquered Kilimanjaro, hopes to raise at least 10,000 euro for the CUH Charity.

“Failure is not an option,” he said.

All 32 peaks represent a combined climb of around 16,000 metres, which is almost twice the height of Mount Everest.

The doctor, who will be supported by a colleague throughout, will camp overnight at the base of the following morning’s first peak.

He said inspiration for the challenge came from his nine-year-old son.

Consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist Richard Horgan is an avid high walker (Richard Horgan/PA).

Dr Horgan said the week will be emotional and he will carry treasured memories of drama and singing enthusiast Ms Gosnell with him.

“She was so dynamic, it was always about the solution rather than the problem with her,” he said.

“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.”

Dr Horgan said he hopes the new space will include a symbol specifically remembering Ms Gosnell and her experiences in CUMH.

For more information or to support the challenge visit

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