News 2019

Title:  Mountaineering Ireland Announce Hillwalking Development Officer Role
Date:  20/07/2019

At the Mountaineering Ireland AGM in 2018, a motion was approved to establish a Hillwalking Committee. A Working Group was subsequently established whereby they developed a draft terms of reference and an initial work plan which was approved by the Board of Mountaineering Ireland. A new Hillwalking Committee was set up commencing work since March 2019. In order to utilise staff resources it was agreed to align current staffing structures more closely to the five strategic pillars in our current Strategic Plan 2018 -2021. To coincide with the restructure of the Talent Development Officers role to Climbing Officer it was decided to restructure the Membership Development Officer’s role, to focus solely on supporting and developing hillwalking, hillwalking membership and clubs.

Ruth Whelan started working for Mountaineering Ireland over five years ago after completing a first class honours degree in Sports Management and an MSc in Graduate Research at the School of Public Health and Population Science in UCD. Ruth has worked on many projects and has co-ordinated many gatherings, events and workshops with Mountaineering Ireland. Her role has evolved over the years and to date she has had two main areas of responsibility; firstly to increase membership of both climbers and hillwalkers and secondly to support all members by organising and co-ordinating services, gatherings and events to meet the needs of the members, whilst supporting the development of new and existing clubs.

In order to align Ruth’s role with the current strategic objectives, she will continue to be responsible for the above, but her role will be solely focused on developing hillwalking and supporting hillwalking members as the new Hillwalking Development Officer for Mountaineering Ireland. Commenting on this new position, Mountaineering Ireland CEO, Murrough McDonagh said “I welcome Ruth to this new and exciting role. Given her experience especially her work in recent years on the Steering Group for our current Strategic Plan, the Hillwalking Working Group and her role as secretary to the Hillwalking Committee it was evident that she was the right person for the role of Hillwalking Development Officer. This coupled with her vast understanding of Mountaineering Ireland, our clubs, our purpose, values and vision together with her close working relationship with our clubs and members, Ruth has all the credentials and experience to excel and help drive this new role forward and help support the work of the new Hillwalking Committee”.

When Ruth first made the big move to Dublin in the early 00’s she joined a few colleagues to raise some money for charity by completing the 4 peaks challenge, which cemented her love for the mountains, the companionship, remoteness and tranquility hillwalking offers. Her main areas to walk these days is around Wicklow and the Comeragh mountains, she has also completed Killimanjaro many years ago, and has walked and climbed mountain ranges in the French, Italian and Austrian Alps.  Ruth is excited about her role as Hillwalking Development Officer and is delighted and committed to working with and supporting the hillwalking members of Mountaineering Ireland. 

You can contact Ruth on 087 1612990 or


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