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Tributes to young climber

PUBLISHED: 13:38 05 March 2008 | UPDATED: 14:29 07 July 2010

He was an adventurer who had a passion for life and was loved by many, and on Wednesday hundreds of mourners turned out on a cold, crisp day to say goodbye.

He was an adventurer who had a passion for life and was loved by many, and on Wednesday hundreds of mourners turned out on a cold, crisp day to say goodbye.

Robert McCarthy died tragically aged just 22 in a climbing accident in the Scottish mountains while on a weekend break with friends.

Despite being rescued by emergency services from the Arrochar Alps in Argyll on the mountain known as The Cobbler, the eight foot fall inflicted severe head injuries and he died at the Royal Alexandra Hospital at Paisley, near Glasgow.

His parents Gerard and Jenny McCarthy and their two other sons Daniel, 24, and Luke, 20, along with a close knit group of friends had driven through the night to be with Robert but he died on February 18.

And in a fitting tribute to all those lives he touched, on Wednesday morning family, friends, schoolmates and colleagues travelled across the country to pay their respects in a moving funeral service.

Dereham Roman Catholic Church was filled with people who had all met and loved the outdoor enthusiast who lived for climbing.

Mr McCarthy said: “Robert could climb even before he could walk; as a baby he would climb everything and anything - climbing was his passion.

“Robert died doing what he loved best. If he had chosen, that was how he would have wanted to go.”

Robert grew up in Dereham, attending the Grove Middle and Church Middle schools and Northgate High School. He worked for a time at the Jentique factory before starting a two-year outdoor pursuits course at the College of West Anglia at King's Lynn.

He had been working for two years in Scotland for a multi-outdoor activities centre.

Scouts was also a lifelong passion and with the 1st Dereham Scouts, with his other great interest being the Air Training Corps.

tThe funeral was followed by a burial at Colney Wood, near Norwich. Donations are invited for the 1st Dereham Scout group via RJ Bartram funeral directors of Theatre Street, Dereham.

tAn inquest in Norwich into Robert's death was opened and adjourned last Thursday by Great Norfolk coroner William Armstrong.

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