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Fundraiser launched to recover Irish climber Séamus Lawless

Seamus Lawless Image copyright Trinity College
Image caption Séamus Lawless is an assistant professor at the School of Computer Science at Trinity College, Dublin

The family of an Irish climber missing on Mount Everest have launched a fundraising appeal to assist in the search for him.

Séamus Lawless, 39, from Bray, County Wicklow, was part of a team of climbers who reached the peak on Thursday.

His family have set up a GoFundMe page with the aim of raising £750,000 for the search effort.

They say the company which provided an insurance policy to Mr Lawless is not assisting the rescue effort.

As of Saturday morning, the page had raised more than €73,000 (£64,000).

Mr Lawless went missing on Thursday.

The search has since become a recovery operation, the company that organised the climb told Irish broadcaster RTÉ.

He was taking part in the expedition to raise funds for the Barretstown children's charity.

Mr Lawless is an assistant professor at the School of Computer Science at Trinity College, Dublin.

It has been reported that he went missing at an altitude of 8,300m (27,230ft), in an area known as "the balcony", near the mountain's summit.

The family of Mr Lawless say the money being raised is for a team of expert Sherpas to help recover him.

They add it was his "lifelong dream" to reach the peak of Mount Everest.

'Distressing time'

Mingma Sherpa, the owner of Seven Summits Treks which organised the trip, told RTÉ: "It is a very difficult situation. We are searching for a body."

He said that conditions descending the mountain were "very good" but that Mr Lawless appears to have fallen accidentally.

The GPS worn by Mr Lawless has been found almost 500m from where he fell, but experts have said it is possible the device became detached.

Staff at Trinity College issued a statement expressing concern for their colleague.

"Séamus and his family are in our thoughts during this extremely distressing time," said a statement from the university.

The university had earlier tweeted congratulations to Mr Lawless after he reached the peak of Everest on Thursday.

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