John Delaney

The wife of the Irishman who died near the peak of Mount Everest just days after she gave birth to the daughter he will never see, has defended her husband’s decision to climb the world’s highest mountain.

John Delaney lost his life just 50 meters from the top of Mount Everest on Saturday, four days after his wife Orla had given birth to their baby daughter.

The 41-year-old, a native of Laois and resident of Kilcock in County Kildare, died without knowing that his wife had given birth to their first daughter.

Fellow climbers had no choice but to leave Delaney’s body on the mountainside after he died of pulmonary edema or cerebral edema - a flooding of the lungs or a swelling of the brain - followed by a heart attack.

Read More: First Irishman dies on Mount Everest just days after his daughter is born

Delaney has been criticized in some media outlets for attempting to climb Mount Everest while his wife was pregnant but Orla has asked close friend Pat Falvey, the well known mountaineer, to put the record straight.

“Orla, in relation to some statements, was saying that she is in full support of John - that’s the man she loved, the adventurer,” said Falvey.

“While it’s very hard to accept the situation that has happened, it was a risk that John knew and she knew could occur, in the event of him dying, that he could be left on the mountain.”

Falvey also revealed that Orla – mother to Caspar (3) and Alexander (2) – had gone into labor earlier than expected.

“Orla said ‘I packed his bags and left him go’ and the child had come sooner than anticipated,” added Falvey.

“She was proud of John, she knew what he was doing so any criticism of John would be totally unfounded and would be very hurtful to her.”

A memorial service to honor Delaney will be held in his home village of Ballinakill in County Laois on Friday.