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Teacher died in brother's arms after volcano fall

SIBLINGS of an Irish student teacher, who was killed after falling on a volcano hiking trip, have arrived in Nicaragua to repatriate his body.

Michael McLean (26) died in his younger brother Conor's arms on Sunday after falling and hitting his head during a guided expedition.

Two of his siblings, Roisin and Martin travelled to South America yesterday to bring his remains home to the Fruithill area of west Belfast.

They are expected back in the North by tomorrow at the earliest and a funeral should take place early next week, a family friend told the Herald.

Michael, an engineer, had re-trained as a geography teacher in Liverpool.

He had just graduated and hoped to take six months off before starting his new career.

He flew over to Boston a month ago where he met his brother Conor (24), who was also taking a year out.

The pair planned to travel across Central and South America before heading back to Northern Ireland for Christmas.



MISSED

However, their plans were tragically cut short when he slipped while hiking up a volcano, and fell from a height.

It is understood he hit his head during the fall and suffered fatal injuries. A post mortem took place this week.

Michael's parents Laurence and Marie, and his five siblings Patricia, Roisin, Louise, Conor and Martin said yesterday that he had been "a much loved son, brother, uncle and friend to many".

Marie added: "He was a very popular figure and will be sadly missed by a huge number of people. The circumstances of his death overseas are difficult for the family.

"We hope to have his body home as quickly as possible and in the meantime we would respectfully ask for privacy."

hnews@herald.ie


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