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Irish woman successfully summits Mount Kilimanjaro with a harp – The Irish Times

Irish woman Siobhán Brady has successfully summited Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania ensuring she entered the Guinness World Record Books by playing the harp for charity.

The Castletroy, Co Limerick woman successfully completed her quest to reach the top of Africa’s highest peak in the early hours of Tuesday morning, raising funds for Cystic Fibrosis Ireland and Harp Ireland.

While at the 5,895 metre summit Ms Brady (24) performed the ‘Highest Harp Concert’. The current Guinness World Record for the highest altitude harp performance was set by the 24-year-old in 2018.

The concert, which lasted 20 minutes, consisted of an array of traditional and more recent compositions from Ireland and also included a Tanzanian jig which means ‘Thank You Tanzania’ in Swahili.

Also part of the high-altitude concert, was a rendition of Ed Sheeran’s ‘Little Bird’, a song which has a special place in the hearts of the Cystic Fibrosis community, and the poem, ‘The Prophets Are Weeping’, by Irish President, Michael D Higgins, which was read by well-known CF Advocate, Caroline Heffernan.

Guiding them up Mount Kilimanjaro – the world’s largest free-standing mountain rise – was world renowned Irish mountaineer and adventurer, Pat Falvey, who oversaw the complex and expansive logistics involved which included a team of 60 local people from Tanzania.

Following a quick descent to the lower Barufa Camp afterwards, Siobhán shared a quick message:

“We are elated beyond words and immensely proud of the incredible team and support that made this ambition dreamt up a few years ago, somehow become a reality.

The final hours before reaching the summit were a real test of resilience, however we somehow made it through and found the perfect moment for the concert with only the clouds below us”.

“It’s been an unforgettable experience, rewarding and challenging in equal measure and I know I speak from all of the team when I thank everyone who sent in messages from far and wide. The constant encouragement and support made some of the steps forward all that bit easier.”

One of the first to offer their congratulations to the entire team was CEO of Cystic Fibrosis Ireland, Philip Watt.

“We are so proud that the Highest Harp Concert team have had a successful ascent and reached the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa,” said Mr Watt.

Mr Watt acknowledged that it has been “a supreme effort” for all the team and with many months of planning, including for their colleague Caroline Heffernan who has cystic fibrosis.

“We are very respectful of the fact that Kilimanjaro is not only the highest mountain in Africa but is also a sacred mountain for many in Tanzania and we pay tribute to the many who assisted the team in reaching the summit and pray for their safe return.

“Many congratulations to Siobhán Brady and her team for this fundraising initiative and for topping her own world record in playing the ‘highest harp’ at such a high altitude and many thanks to the leader of the climb, Pat Falvey the renowned Irish climber.

“We do not underestimate how difficult this challenge was and we wish all the team a safe descent and we are looking forward to welcoming them back to Dublin.”

The team are currently descending to the Mweka Gate, with most members expected back on Irish shores over the next week. Ms Brady is performing at a special reception at the residence of the Irish Ambassador to Tanzania in Dar es Salaam before making the return journey.

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