The Tanzania Times
Eastern Africa News Network

Irish Chef Dies while celebrating his Birthday on Mount Kilimanjaro

A Popular Irish Chef from Cork City planned to celebrate his 40th Birthday on top of Africa’s highest roof, but unfortunately didn’t make it to the peak.

James O’Connor did not make it back on the base either, this is because the cheerful chef from Ireland suffered a heart attack after leaving the Kibo Huts, towards Uhuru, and sadly lost his life.

Reports say the Irish man aged only 40, died after suffering some medical emergency on December 5, 2023 while climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.

James O’Connor used to work as a chef at the Tony’s Bistro an eatery operating in Cork, according to reports in a number of Irish Media outlets, including Extra.ie and the Irish Sun.

The Bistro is located along the city’s North Main Street. He was reportedly a favourite employee there.

The news of John’s sudden death on Mount Kilimanjaro, was broken by his own family who posted the developments on social media outlets.

And that came after John himself posted various snaps of himself enjoying his adventure on the world’s tallest free-standing natural elevation.

Until the time of this publication, the deceased family was making arrangements to fly John’s body from Northern Tanzania back home in Ireland. O’Connor was a father of three. The Bistro closed down to mourn the Chef.

Confirming his passing in a social media post, the O’Connor family wrote: ‘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, December 5, James set a goal to reach the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro along with his friend Alan.’

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

As the adage goes that life begins at 40, John’s ended at that age and during his birthday which was to be marked 5890 meters above sea level.

Earlier in August 2023, Mr Darrel Phee, who was a 28-year-old banking executive from Singapore also lost his life while climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Moshi.

Phee’s death was ascribed to acute altitude sickness on Mount Kilimanjaro, though his family later tried to question the circumstances of his premature demise while trekking in Tanzania.

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