A County Armagh corporal in the the Royal Irish Regiment dies after a tragic cliff fall in County Donegal over the weekend.
Stuart Hamilton, from the Tandragee area, is understood to have lost his footing and fell in Bundoran on Saturday morning.
He was taken to Sligo University Hospital but was later pronounced dead.
A Garda spokesman said: “Gardai and emergency services attended the scene of an incident at Bundoran, Co Donegal, in the early hours of [Saturday] morning.
“A man in his 30s is believed to have fallen from a cliff. He was taken for medical attention to Sligo University Hospital where he was late pronounced deceased.
“Enquiries are ongoing.”
Paying tribute, a Royal Irish Regiment spokesperson, said: “It is with deep sadness the Royal Irish Regiment announce the death of Cpl Stuart Hamilton.
“Cpl Hamilton, of the 2nd Bn Royal Irish Regiment, died in a tragic accident on 4 September 2021.
“The Regiment are continuing to provide Cpl Hamilton’s family support at this incredibly difficult time.
“The Commanding Officer of 2 R IRISH, Lt Col Simon Baxter said, Cpl Stuart Hamilton or Hammy as he was known, was a truly outstanding soldier and commander.
“Always going a little further, he consistently strived to go the extra mile. He was the best of his peer group and tested himself constantly. He was larger than life and a true battalion character, admired and respected by everyone he met.
“We will miss him dearly and our thoughts are with his family at this sad time.”
Independent Unionist Councillor Paul Berry, who spoke with Mr Hamilton on Friday as he headed off to Bundoran, said it was “with deep sadness when I heard of the tragic death of Stuart on Saturday morning”.
“I had been chatting to him on Friday afternoon at the Filling Station in Tandragee before he was heading off to Bundoran.
“Stuart was one good fellow and was a gallant member of the Royal Irish Regiment and during his service he had been serving in Afghanistan.
“He loved life and lived life to the full and just last week he broke the Guinness Book of Records at the Coast half marathon wearing 60lb vest and breaking a record, he loved challenges and Adventures.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with his parents Alan, Alison and brother Gordon and sisters Helen and Leanne as they understandably are in total shock and sorrow at the loss of Stuart in this freak accident on the Coast at Bundoran.
“The local community are in total shock and sadness as Stuart had a great band of friends far and near.”
Chloe Reed, paying an emotional tribute on social media, commented: “You always rans towards an adventure Stuart Hamilton, saw so much beauty in nature, thrived off pushing your body and mind to the limit of what is possible, and you showed this in all the crazy stuff you’ve done. You’ve inspired so many others to do the same. We will miss you so much and I will continue the adventures for us Stu.”
Upper Bann MLA Jonathan Buckley, who knows the family said: “We are all truly shocked and devastated to learn of Stuart’s tragic passing.
“A young man who had served his country with distinction taken far too soon. Stuart was an adventurous and fun-loving character making friends no matter where he went.
“As a soldier he was exemplary like everything in his life, he gave it his all – always pushing himself to do bigger and better things.
“But first of all he was a family man. I know how difficult this ordeal is for his family who are extremely close-knit and I want to assure them of the communities thoughts and my prayers in these difficult days ahead.”