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heartbreaking Body found in search for missing runner in Comeragh Mountains

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Members of the South Eastern Mountain Rescue at Mahon falls in the Comeragh Mountains during the search. Picture: Patrick Browne

Members of the South Eastern Mountain Rescue at Mahon falls in the Comeragh Mountains during the search. Picture: Patrick Browne

Members of the South Eastern Mountain Rescue at Mahon falls in the Comeragh Mountains during the search. Picture: Patrick Browne

A body has been found by rescuers searching for a missing runner in the Comeragh Mountains.

The married woman was last seen at 12.45pm on Sunday and the alarm was raised by her husband later that afternoon when she failed to return home.

The Coast Guard air and sea rescue 117 Sikorsky helicopter used a heat camera for several hours on Monday afternoon in a bid to pinpoint where the married mother might be.

Low cloud and difficult terrain had hampered the search.

However this afternoon a body was found during the search operation.

Up to 30 highly trained members of mountain rescue teams took part in the search along the Tipperary/Waterford mountain range.

The woman was due to return from her run along the Coumshingaun Loop trail at 2pm but when her husband did not hear from her he alerted emergency services at 3pm. She had been in constant contact with family members prior to 2pm.

The South Eastern Mountain Rescue Association (SEMRA) led the multi-agency search along with Search And Rescue Dog Association Ireland (SADRA), Rescue 117 of the Irish Coast Guard and local gardaí involved in the search operation since Sunday.

On Monday mountain rescue volunteers from other parts of the country including members of Kerry Mountain Rescue, Dublin and Wicklow search teams and the Glen of Imaal mountain rescuers joined the search.

Civil Defence volunteers also assisted as well as two SADRA dogs.

A Coast Guard spokesperson said: “Search conditions are difficult with low cloud over lake Coumshingaun.”

When last seen the woman was wearing a grey and pink hoody, black trousers and a bobble hat.

Liz Browne, a SEMRA spokesperson said: “About half a dozen search parties continued their trawl of gullies along parts of the Comeraghs close to lake Coumshingaun and will do so until nightfall.”

She said volunteers hope the woman had taken cover.

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“There is a huge area of the mountain range to cover and the terrain is very difficult to search as there are a lot of peat hags. Teams will continue the search until we find her.”

Ms Browne added: “We believe that the lady who is missing completed her run or walk successfully but is not a navigator. Heavy cloud descended on the mountain. We are working on the belief that she became disorientated.

“Her phone is still operational as it is ringing out but she could have let it fall and damaged it or she could have lost it unbeknownst to herself. We normally use a person’s mobile phone to attempt to contact them.

"She did not have a fitbit on her person as the GPS could have been used to help locate her too. We believe that she did not intend to go for as long as she did.

“We are hoping she was able to find some sort of mountain coverage to keep her warm overnight on Sunday as it was very cold and damp overnight. She would have been very uncomfortable overnight.”

Ms Browne explained that gardaí and search teams manned all entrances onto the Comeraghs in hope that the missing woman would see the emergency blue flashing lights in the distance.

Gardaí had asked hill walkers and farmers in the Coumsinghaun, Mahon Falls, Ballymacarabry and Rathgormack areas to be on alert for any sightings of the woman.

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