Tributes have been paid to a walker who died after collapsing with a suspected heart attack on the Mourne Mountains.
Named locally as Portadown man Mark Elliott, it’s understood that he died while descending the Donard Commedagh Saddle around 1.50pm on New Year’s Eve.
A spokesperson of Mourne Mountain Rescue Team said they received a request for help just before 2pm on Thursday “regarding a medical emergency”.
“A walker had collapsed shortly after beginning descent from the Donard Commedagh Saddle,” they said.
“Other walkers stopped to provide help, with nearby team members responding, followed by a response from the Air Ambulance and further team members.
“Despite the best efforts of all those involved, the walker was pronounced deceased at the scene.
“Other members of the walker’s group were escorted off the mountain while the deceased was evacuated by the team on a stretcher to road access.”
Armagh i reports that Mr Elliott, who was known affectionately as ET, had just celebrated his first wedding anniversary with his wife Tracy the day before.
Independent Councillor Paul Berry had been a close friend of Mr Elliot’s since they had attended Portadown Tech together.
“He never would have passed you over the years and even when he would have been on parade with the mighty Portadown True Blues he always would have put the thumb up or shouted hello mate,” he said.
“He was one fine, thoughtful and kind person and I know his sudden death has sent shock waves across Portadown and the district.
“My prayers and thoughts go out to his son Alexander whom he was mighty proud of and his wife Tracy and indeed his whole family and friends. Mark is now in heaven and what is our loss is certainly heaven's gain.”