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Newry boy, 11, prepares to climb Kilimanjaro

Conor Bannon is just 11, but will be tackling the highest mountain in Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro. Credit: UTV

A Newry schoolboy is preparing to climb the highest mountain in Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro, and all to raise money for charity.

Conor Bannon, 11, hopes to reach the summit in eight days when he travels to Tanzania in October.

He will have to trek more than 19,000 feet to reach the top of Kilimanjaro.

“I want to do it because it’s a big challenge and I like challenges, and because I’m raising for the Children’s Hospice,” Conor said.

“It’s not the hardest thing, but it’s hard enough like.”

Conor’s dad Terence ‘Banjo’ Bannon has previously scaled Everest, but it will be mum Lauren who joins him for this expedition.

“We’re just going to take it nice and slow, which will be tough for a kid like Conor who loves to speed on and get things done,” she said.

And as if the Newry lad’s determination was not already admirable, he lives with an immune condition which he refuses to let hold him back.

“Yesterday, I had to cycle to Slieve Gullion, then we climbed Slieve Gullion with Buddhist monks from Nepal,” Conor said, talking about his experiences while training.

“Two months ago, I did Twin Peaks – it was 15 miles …”