The fab four scaled each mountain climb in just four hours.

Meet the Navan brothers and pal who conquered Ireland's highest mountain eight times in 48 hours

Three Navan brothers say they conquered Ireland's highest mountain eight times in 48 hours, a hike equivalent to that of Mount Everest to help Irish people “reconnect with the land.”

Cormac Noonan, Sean Noonan and Daryl Noonan took on the epic challenge last month alongside their friend Wayne McGrath raising over €5,600 for The Gaelic Woodland Project, a charity founded for the creation of a new native woodland dedicated to Ireland.

The fierce foursome conquered the 3,407ft high Carrauntoohill mountain on the Iveragh Peninsula in Co Kerry eight times, each climb taking the speedy bunch just four hours on average.

No strangers to arduous challenges, the Noonan brothers embarked on the highest peaks challenge last year climbing Lugnaquilla in Wicklow, Carrauntoohil in Kerry, Mweelrea in Mayo and Slieve Donard in Down.

“The three of us decided to do it to test our own limits to see what we could do because last year we did the four peaks challenge, climbing the highest peaks in each province, we did that in 22 hours so we wanted to try something a bit bigger and climb twice as many mountains,” said Cormac.

“And also because it would be the same hike as Everest if we did it eight times!” he added.

“It took us about four hours to do the mountain on average which was quite fast, most people take between five and seven hours. We tried to keep that pace to get it done in 48 hours.”

Cormac says it was both a mental and physical challenge.

“For me the first two mountains were the hardest on my legs, they were like lead and I thought ‘how am I going to keep doing this’, that's where the doubts start to creep in. Then on the third mountain you started to find your rhythm and get what was like a second wind where the legs kind of take over and then it becomes a mental challenge.

“On the Devil's Ladder that's where the doubts came in, it was the like the devil was in your head. It was just allowing those thoughts to be there but not allowing yourself attach to them too much. Just know you have to keep going when the doubts come in until you get the next one done and then seeing how far you can go.

“For me it wasn't about trying to do it in an unhealthy way or trying to conquer the mountain, we were saying we wanted to work with the mountain, almost ask the mountain for guidance and to look after us.

“It was an amazing experience; we had lots of ups and downs physically and mentally”

It was during the tough moments that support from family and friends who arrived to keep morale going really kicked in according to Cormac.

“We had a lot of people helping us throughout the weekend, we had people joining us on the third and fourth climb and loads of people on the fifth which was a Saturday morning, even my mother joined us, my girlfriend, a couple of my friends.

“It was really good to have the support there because I think spirts would have been dampened because we were already getting tired on mountain 1 and 2 and we were thinking how are we going to keep this going so it was good to have fresh faces coming in pushing us on.”

Cormac who created a number of wellbeing programmes for secondary school students alongside brother Daryl through their education company ‘The Wolf Academy’ says resilience can only be achieved through adversity, something they try to instil in their students as he explains:

“I surprised myself and I think people would be surprised at how much your body can actually keep going. There's something else that just takes over.

“Afterwards we were all on a high and just have that really feeling of achievement and pride that you don't feel very often. It's like a new level of self belief and self confidence and resilience. It's very hard to achieve that unless you push yourself through challenge.”

The Navan man explains why raising funds for The Gaelic Woodland Project is so important for him and his siblings.

“If there is no land there are no people so the land kind of has to come first. Ireland now only has two per cent native woodland and it's the plant and wildlife that comes with that that is at risk too, we are dependent on that eco-system as well.

“Nature for Me and Daryl is such an important thing in our own lives. As Irish people we would have been so connected with the land and the seasons and using what we had instead of buying everything in the shops.”

The duo now use a woodland setting for their workshops with young people allowing them to switch off from a busy world according to Cormac who said: “It's about getting to know the land again and using it as a place that people can go. When the forest is created people can go there for refuge and it’s somewhere to switch off from the world and reconnect with what it means to be Irish as well.

“We have been doing workshops in the woods sitting around the fire, showing students to build a fire, plants, trees, doing anything in the woods just makes it so much better. If we are doing a meditation, they are hearing the birds, he trees, the wind and really allows them to get away from technology and get out of the classroom too.”