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07th Dec 2023

Irish chef dies while climbing Mt Kilimanjaro for 40th birthday

Katy Thornton

“Fly higher than any mountain our Hero.”

Tributes are pouring in for an Irish man who died this week while attempting to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania for his 40th birthday.

James O’Connor, a chef at Cork’s famous restaurant Tonys Bistro and father-of-three, is reported to have suffered a heart attack just a few hundred feet from the summit and passed away on Tuesday, 5 December.

Tonys Bistro, which is run by the O’Connor family, confirmed the news of James’ death in a social media post on Wednesday paying tribute to him, which reads:

“It is with the deepest sorrow that we announce the passing of our hero James O’Connor, our amazing brother, our legendary chef, super dad, husband and friend to all.

“On his 40th birthday yesterday, Dec 5th, James set a goal to reach the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro along with his dear friend Alan.

“Sadly, a few hundred feet from the summit, James suffered a heart attack and passed away.

“’Climb the mountain not to plant your flag, but to embrace the challenge, enjoy the air and behold the view. Climb it so you can see the world, not so the world can see you.’

“Fly higher than any mountain our hero. Forever winning.”

Irish man dies while climbing Mt Kilimanjaro for 40th birthday

Tonys Bistro remains closed on Wednesday, with the restaurant concluding its tribute to James by writing: “Please hold James in your thoughts as he makes his journey back home to us.”

Commenting on the post, one person said: “James, as I always said your were some man for one man. May you RIP. You are gone but never forgotten.”

Another wrote: “An incredible fella, such an inspiration. Thought and prayers with ye all.”

A third person left the message: “Absolutely devastating! Such great memories working with him. Sending all my love.”

A fourth said: “RIP James you were such an amazing soul always had a belly full of laughter around you.”

This article originally appeared on JOE

Header image via Facebook / Tony’s Bistro


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