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Bundoran tragedy Tragic Donegal cliff fall soldier was in Guinness Book of Records for weighted half marathon

Cpl Stuart Hamilton was described as an “outstanding soldier and commander”

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Stuart Hamilton

Stuart Hamilton

Stuart Hamilton

Tributes have been paid to a County Antrim corporal in the Royal Irish Regiment (RIR) who died last week in a cliff fall in County Donegal.

Stuart Hamilton, from the Tandragee area is understood to have lost his footing while hiking in the Bundoran area on Saturday.

He was rushed to hospital, but later died.

An RIR spokesperson said Mr Hamilton was an “outstanding soldier and commander”.

It has since emerged Mr Hamilton, a fitness fanatic, had broken the Guinness World Record for running a coastal half marathon while wearing a 60lb vest.

The RIR 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.”

Jonathan Buckley, Upper Bann MLA, who knew Mr Hamilton, 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.

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“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.”

Meanwhile tributes for Mr Hamilton poured in on social media.

Alex Kirk wrote: ‘There's not many people you meet in life who leave a permanent mark on you. But Stuart Hamilton you were one of them. From being the only other Irish person on the bus in Australia to coffee dates and random adventures, you were a true hero. You always told me not to take life too seriously and be a cup half full kind of girl. So keep smiling down on us all and thanks for being such a gem of positivity and adventure. Rest easy.’

Jack Dobson posted: ‘Devastating news! A great (ex) employee. So helpful and highly respected. Heartfelt sympathy to Stuart’s family and praying that God’s love enfolds,comforts and heals you all through this difficult time.’

Jai Burrows said: ‘Very sad and tragic news of Stuart (Hammy) a larger than life Ranger , but such a young legend cut down in the prime of life. My thoughts and prayers are with the Hamilton family circle in this devastating time. Stand easy Ranger. Faugh-a-ballagh.’

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