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Cork hiker’s body repatriated to be buried in Ireland

A Cork mother of two who died after collapsing during a charity hike in the Scottish Highlands is to be repatriated to be buried in Ireland.

Laura Marcelin, 44, a healthcare worker, was taking part in the Great Wilderness Challenge on Saturday when she collapsed. Although emergency services rushed to her rescue at Inveran, Ms Marcelin could not be saved.

Her autopsy was completed on Thursday. A funeral and cremation is expected to be held in Scotland. Her remains are then to be brought back for her funeral and burial in Ireland.

Born in Scotland, Ms Marcelin lived in Kilworth, Co Cork, with her husband and their two children. Ms Marcelin was described as a devoted mother, a “fantastic carer”, and “hardworking”.

She worked in a Cork nursing home for many years and people paid tribute online to her good work there.

“Shocked to hear of Laura’s untimely passing. A fantastic carer to my sister… Sincere condolences to her family. She will be missed.” Another wrote: “Our deepest sympathies on the passing of Laura who always took great care of our mother… You will be greatly missed. Rest in Peace Laura.”

Ms Marcelin loved hill walking and always carried a flag to celebrate both Ireland and Scotland on her trips, the BBC reported.

In a tribute, friends said: “Her heart was in both countries.

She loved the hills and walking and we are comforted by the fact that she died while enjoying a beautiful walk in stunning surroundings in her home country.

“Her children were the most important thing in her world. Laura was loved and respected by all who knew her.”

A GoFundMepage was set up to raise funds for the cost of Laura’s repatriation, funeral, and burial in Ireland.

More than €24,000 of the €25,000 goal was raised in three days.

Her local community group, Curraghagalla Community Group, is also currently fundraising for an AED defibrillator.

Family and friends thanked the emergency services and Dundonnell Mountain Rescue Team who went to her aid, and two walkers who administered CPR.

Organizers of the Great Wilderness Challenge also thanked emergency services and participants for their assistance.

“Our hearts go out to the family and friends of the deceased at this very sad and difficult time,” they wrote on the event website.

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