“I was very saddened to hear of the death of renowned adventurer Ian McKeever.
"I had come to know him over recent years and I admired him not only for his own achievements and charity work but also for his work with young people in challenging them to achieve their full potential.
"Ian led students from schools in Castlebar to the summit Kilimanjaro and managed to text me updates on their progress en-route.
"He was extremely passionate about what he did and driven in his belief that everybody can achieve their potential during their lifetime.
"Ian said to me once that there was no place he would rather be than in the mountains.
"I would like to extend my sympathies to his fiancée Anna and his family, friends and fellow adventurers."
Ian McKeever's latest expedition set off to Tanzania from Ireland on 28 December and the group began their ascent the day before New Year's Eve. In online updates, Mr McKeever wrote that there was torrential rain but spirits remained high among the hikers.
In his final post he said: "We pray for dryer weather tomorrow - the big day. It's the Lava Tower." The Lava Tower is a landmark on the climb. It is understood he was killed in a lightning storm.
A well-known lecturer and broadcaster has been killed in a freak tragedy while climbing Africa's highest mountain. Ian McKeever, 42, was struck by lightning as he led a group up Mount Kilimanjaro. It is understood a number of others along with him needed medical attention.
The lecturer and broadcaster regularly mentored hikers, including many Irish schoolchildren, to scale the 5,895m-high summit through his Kilimanjaro Achievers organisation.