Trinity to hold memorial service for Seamus Lawless in September

The Trinity professor died while climbing Mount Everest for charity

Trinity is to host a memorial service for Seamus Lawless, the Professor who died while climbing Mount Everest.

The service will be open to all who wish to attend and will be held at 5pm on Monday September 30, in Trinity’s Public Theatre (The Exam Hall).

Lawless, an Assistant Professor at the School of Computer Science and Statistics, went missing on Mount Everest in May after falling from an altitude of 8,300 metres off of a balcony area near the summit of the mountain. He had reached the summit earlier that morning.

His family eventually called off the search for his body due to treacherous conditions. The “high altitude and the sheer range of the search area ultimately proved too difficult,” the family said in a statement.

In an official statement at the time, Trinity offered its condolences to Lawless’ family, stating: “The tragic death of our friend and colleague, Séamus (Shay) Lawless, has come as a huge shock to all of us. On behalf of everyone at Trinity College Dublin and the research centre, ADAPT, we want to offer our condolences to his wife, Pam, and their daughter, Emma, and to his large family, all his friends, students and colleagues.”

College previously held a candle lit vigil for the professor in front square.

Lawless had set out on the expedition in a bid to raise funds for Barretstown Children’s Charity, which supports seriously ill children and their families. His family requested that donations in memory of Lawless be made to the charity.

Lawless was one of an eight-member team participating in this year’s Irish Everest Expedition led by the professional Irish climber Noel Richard Hanna. The assistant professor had previously scaled two peaks in preparation for the Everest ascent.

A GoFundMe page was set up by Lawless’s family as the insurance company that had provided a policy for Lawless was not providing assistance with the search and rescue.

Lawless was the Director of the Knowledge and Data Engineering Group and Associate Director of the ADAPT centre, with responsibility for research funding. According to his profile on a Trinity website, Lawless’ primary research was in the area of personalised information retrieval, which involved work in the areas of natural language processing, machine learning and artificial intelligence, user modelling, recommender systems and digital humanities.

He authored over 100 peer-reviewed publications, coordinated and delivered 13 research projects, and supervised ten PhD students and dozens of masters students.

Finn Purdy

Finn Purdy is the current Deputy Editor of Trinity News. He is a Junior Sophister English Studies student, and a former News Editor and Assistant News Editor.