I was really saddened to wake up this morning to hear the news about Ian McKeever.
I didnt know him that well, he was friends with a girl that hired me after I left my PR course where we shared a desk in the small office we rented on Baggot St. At the time, I knew nothing about PR & he was helping a friend of his complete her Gold Gaisce award by designing a PR & launch campaign for a book that was being written called ‘Anything but Balls’ based on stories from former soccer greats. Ian was brilliant at what he did & taught me a lot.
To be honest, at the time I didn’t think much about Ian, he smoked more cigarettes than I could count, he loved to stay in bed, was always late for everything, drove a flashy Japanese imported car and was literally writing cheques his body couldn’t cover. But, he had one trait that ran through every vein in his body in that he was very very kind; kind to the point that it got him into trouble so many times. He just couldn’t say no to people when they asked him to do things. No matter what the task, Ian agreed and then worked hard to do it, he had a paid job in AA Roadwatch at the time and was juggling so many balls that some were bound to fall.
Following the launch of ‘Anything but Balls’ we parted company, but when I heard about his mountaineering I wasn’t surprised. Ian was so dedicated, he started and completed everything he did, even if it meant untold private suffering; we only spoke once in the last 10 years, I sponsored a climb he was doing for charity, not much, just a tenner I’d say, and he called me to say thanks. That was the kind of guy he was.
He went on to become one of Irelands leading ‘adventurers’; including holding the world record for the Seven Summits challenge , climbing the highest mountain on each of the seven continents in the fastest time. Following this, he made a life out of helping others reach their climbing dreams.
He inspired me, he changed his life around from being bottom of the pile to being on top of the world. If you are struggling at any task and the goal seems too hard or if are looking to make any change in your life you could do no better than look to the highest mountain and think of Ian.
Rest in peace