One of Ireland’s top adventurers has revealed how climbing mountains turned his life around after he almost took his life having lost millions.
Pat Falvey, who has climbed to summit of Mount Everest twice and has completed 155 expeditions across the world, almost drowned himself after he went broke at the age of 29.
The 61-year-old Cork man has become a millionaire by the time of 21 and employed 200 people in his construction firm, after leaving school at just 15.
However, his world came tumbling down eight years later when he lost his fortune and risked losing his home during the recession in the 80s.
Pat told the Irish Mirror: “I thought I had the midas touch in a sense, and then the recession came and I went broke.
“I was 29 and I thought I let my wife down, my family down so I tried to take my own life.
“As I was just about to enter the water down the quays in Cork, I seen my two kids. I just stopped, and couldn’t believe the I almost did that.
“So I came back and told people that I was going through… Coming from a background where people told me I couldn’t do it, but I did it and lost it, it was like ‘We told you so’.
“Your greatest fear is the fear of your peers and what they think.”
He continued: “That was a major turning point that changed the rest of my life.
“One of my secretaries at the time, her father was involved in hill walking.
“This guy came into my office one day and asked me would I go hill walking. I had a big boardroom at the time and I was sitting there, depressed.
“I said ‘Get out of my office – I’m a workaholic, not a walkaholic’. The guy forced me to go hill walking on that Sunday, he kept pestering me until I gave up.”
Pat told of how after his first experience climbing, he arranged to climb Carrauntoohill the following weekend.
After he conquered Ireland’s highest mountain, he vowed to take on Mount Everest – which he did seven years later.
Since then, he has become first person in the world to complete the Seven Summits twice by climbing Everest from its north and south sides.
He was also the leader of the first Irish-led team to reach the South Pole.
After three decades, Pat has now stepped back from being an adventurer and has penned a memoir called Accidental Rebel.
Explaining why he decided to write the book, Pat said: “I got to 60 and over 30 of my friends had died and basically I started to reflect on what my life had been up to then.
“I just logged it and found out that I’m a selfish b*****d… I found that if I kept going the way I was going, then everyone would be getting older and I’d be in my 70s or 80s and I wouldn’t have picked up on the good quality of life.
“I had two grandchildren, one is two-years-old and one is five-years-old so it was time to reflect that I could die from an expedition.
“So I decided to change my life from being an extreme adventurer to actually starting to ease of and give family and friends who still had my back through all this time more.”