Published Wednesday, 22 August 2012
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They made the long trek to the summit accompanied by mountaineers for the windswept ceremony on Wednesday morning.
As the flame was lit in the Mournes, the same happened on Scafell Pike, Snowdon and Ben Nevis, the highest points across the UK.
But since NI is the region with the lowest peak, it was the first to have its flame lit - and the task was carried out by Bernadette Sloan of Warrenpoint.
The blind hill walker described it as "one of the best moments of my life".
She said: "It was an absolute privilege to have been given the honour of lighting the flame. I climbed the mountain last Saturday so I knew what I was in for.
"It was blustery and windy at the top but it was still a great day. Now I just want to wish all the Paralympic athletes all the best for London."
The team was made up of disabled and non-disabled members as they went about their early morning hike - which began in the dark at exactly 6.14am.
On the return journey, the flame was placed in a miner's lantern as it was carried back down the mist-shrouded Co Down mountains.
The combination of teamwork and human endeavour being used to create the Northern Irish Flame is a very fitting start to the Paralympic Torch Relay celebrations.
Sebastian Coe, Chair of LOCOG
Chris Foster, spokesman for the Scouts, said the weather has favoured the Slieve Donard climbers, as they were the quickest to complete their journey.
Mr Foster said: "The weather in Northern Ireland is brilliant and they are the lowest peak.
"As they've got less distance to travel and because the weather is good, they're expected to get there first.
"The weather for the others is okay but the concern is Ben Nevis where thunderstorms are predicted because, of course, they have to create a flame when they get to the top.
"As an organisation we're absolutely honoured to be part of this symbolic occasion."
An 'individual flame' will be carried to Belfast on Saturday where it will become the central part of a day of celebrations, including a tour of the city and main cauldron lighting.
Flames will also go to the towns of Ballymena, Cookstown, Carrickfergus, Londonderry, Lisburn, Newry and Strabane for their own festivities.
Saturday's events culminate with an open air evening festival at City Hall and after that, Northern Ireland's flame will meet with that of England, Scotland and Wales, on its way to the Olympic Stadium in London for the start of the Games.