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Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 May 2007, 18:19 GMT 19:19 UK
Everest climber is welcomed home
Hannah Shields
Hannah Shields has scaled the world's highest peak
The first Northern Ireland woman to climb Mount Everest has returned home.

Hannah Shields, a 41-year-old dentist from County Londonderry, was part of a team which made it to the top of the world's highest peak on 18 May.

Speaking to BBC Newsline at a welcome home party in Kilrea, Hannah said: "To be honest it was more relief than anything else whenever I summitted.

"I was very lucky, we had a beautiful morning and as soon as I was reaching the summit the sun was up."

She added: "I was relieved to get there but I was acutely aware that the important thing was to get back down again.

"Unfortunately, we had a couple of fatalities on the mountain just before I summitted so I just wanted to get down quickly and safely."

"I was really lucky that all the team made it. We all worked together and we all got back down safely and I'm absolutely delighted because of that."

'Relief'

Her father, Kevin, said he was very relieved to have his daughter back home.

"It has taken a lot out of her I know but she'll spring back from that," he said.

"It gives Kilrea a bit of a boost and the rest of the area as well. We have produced somebody who'll go down in the annals of history."

In May 2003, Ms Shields narrowly failed to reach the summit due to exhaustion and atrocious weather conditions.

She had to return to camp suffering from exhaustion and frostbite.




VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Hannah Shields speaks from her homecoming celebration



SEE ALSO
NI woman reaches Everest summit
21 May 07 |  Northern Ireland
Climber abandons Everest attempt
22 May 03 |  Northern Ireland

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