Buncrana pier victims laid to rest

Buncrana pier victims laid to rest
Photo: RollingNews.ie

The community came together this afternoon to say their farewells to the family of Louise James and her baby daughter Rioghnach-Ann.

Hundreds gathered in Derry for the joint funeral of five family members who died in the Buncrana pier tragedy.

The roads of Ballymagroarty saw hundreds of mourners gather carrying flowers and cards for the family.

Buncrana pier victims laid to rest
23/3/2016. Buncrana Drownings. Photo: RollingNews.ie

The McGrotty family home where the victims – brothers Mark and Evan, their father Sean, grandmother Ruth Daniels and her daughter Jodie-lee Tracey – were waked, was in silence as friends and relatives supported Louise James and her baby daughter Rioghnach-Ann, the only survivor of the disaster.

Yesterday evening St Michael’s medals were placed on each of the deceased.

Buncrana pier victims laid to rest
24/3/2016. Buncrana Drownings.Scenes of grief as the coffins of one of the McGrotty children and their father Sean and their grandmother Ruth Daniels are carried from the Church of the Holy Family in Derry, afer the funeral service. Louise James (not in photo) lost her two children Mark and Evan, her partner Sean, her sister Jody-Lee and her mother Ruth Daniels when they all drowned last Sunday when Mr. McCrotty’s car slipped off the pier into the sea. Photo: RollingNews.ie

Inside the church those gathered were encouraged to wear a little red and white ribbon to mark the little brothers’ favourite football teams, Derry City and Manchester United.

At 1.30pm as the heavens opened with rain, the funeral cortège left the family home and made a sombre journey to Holy Family church less than a mile away.

Buncrana pier victims laid to rest
23/3/2016. Buncrana Drownings. Photo: RollingNews.ie

Five hearses, each carryied a coffin with extensive floral tributes to the victims of the tragedy.

Inside the church, mourners gathered before the service to hear the children’s school choirs rehearse led by Fr Paddy O’Kane.

St Mary’s college choir sang The Aaronic blessing and St Eithne’s Primary School choir will perform the psalm, Circle of Friends.

As they rehearsed the man who raised the alarm on the fateful Sunday afternoon, Francis Crawford, arrived with his family to pay tribute to the lost souls, their loved ones and the people who desperately tried to save them.

Francis said: “I had to be here. Our hearts are broken but I had to honour this day.”

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