Tributes have been pouring in for a two-man Northern Ireland climbing team which reached the summit of Mount Everest.
Two remaining team members have reached the summit
Terence "Banjo" Bannon from Newry in County Down and his teammate New Zealander Jamie McGuinness reached the top of the world's highest peak in the early hours of Saturday morning.
It took the pair nine hours to climb the final 500 metres using oxygen supplies and head torches to guide them on the treacherous ascent.
It is the first time a team from Northern Ireland has reached the summit and
follows the success of an Irish team earlier in the month.
Speaking by satellite phone from the peak, Jamie said they were
"It is two or three hours after sunrise and we are feeling great."
I knew deep down that we would succeed
A team spokesman said: "At the summit they enjoyed the quietness of a calm day with clear visibility stretching far into Nepal and Tibet."
The two men are understood to have suffered minor frostbite on their hands.
They later made a safe descent to advance base camp, with the help of good weather conditions.
The pair over-nighted on Thursday night at a camp just 1,000 metres below the summit and made further progress on Friday.
Terence Bannon has scaled Mount Everest
There had been some concern that Terence had a stomach bug, but he recovered.
They climbed 500 metres to Camp 3 on Friday in preparation for the final push.
Speaking on Radio Ulster, Terence's mother, Rose, said she was extremely proud of her son, adding: "I'm just over the moon."
Expedition leader Richard Dougan and his colleague David Sharpe were last week forced to abandon their attempt at scaling the mountain because of frostbite, just 250 metres from the summit.
They returned to the Nepalese capital Kathmandu, after being told they needed urgent medical attention for frostbite on their hands and feet.
Climber Jamie McGuinness testing oxygen equipment
Richard said: "I am so emotional at the moment. I'm so proud of these guys.
"I knew deep down that we would succeed - there's been a huge team effort by us all. I cant wait until they return to Kathmandu - there sure is going to be a huge party!"
Northern Ireland Secretary Paul Murphy sent a message of congratulations to the team.
"They have displayed remarkable drive and determination in conquering their goal and should be warmly congratulated," he said.
Supporters are putting up flags in Terence's home town of Newry, where celebrations are set to last all weekend.
Jamie has received many message of congratulations from friends all over the world, particularly his native New Zealand.
The pair were heartened to receive a message of goodwill from Dawson Stelfox, also from Northern Ireland, who reached the summit of Everest 10 years ago.
Ulster Unionist Newry representative Danny Kennedy said Terence's success had
brought immense pride to the city.
Also paying tribute to Richard Dougan, he said: "Both of these men have
displayed remarkable strength of character and resolve to ensure the Northern
Ireland expedition was a success."