Funerals of Buncrana tragedy to take place on Thursday

Funerals of Buncrana tragedy to take place on Thursday
20/3/2016 Accident and Emergency Services at the Pier in Buncrana wher a car fell into the water. Photo Justin Maclochlainn

The funerals of the family who lost five members in Donegal tragedy will take place on Thursday

The Bravery of a Donegal man saved a four month old baby girl after she lost five family members after their car went off a pier in County Donegal.

Sean McGrotty, 49, his sons Mark, 12, and Evan, 8, his mother-in-law Ruth Daniels, 59 and Ruth’s daughter Jodie Lee Daniels, 14 passed away.

They were the husband, sister, mother and two sons of Louise McGrotty, from Derry, who had just returned from a hen party in Liverpool when she was told about the tragedy.

Her four-month-old baby girl Rionaghac-Ann was rescued by a passer-by, who swam to save her, and is in a stable condition in hospital.

A joint statement issued by the McGrotty and Daniels families said: “The family has been inundated with support and sympathy from the local community and further afield and this is deeply appreciated.”

Jim McGrotty, Sean’s brother, said: “On behalf of the family we want to thank that brave man who swam into the sea and who saved the life of Louise’s baby Rionaghac-Ann, who is only four months old.”

The ‘exceptionally brave’ man who saved Rionaghac- Ann has been named as former Finn Harps player, 29-year-old Davitt Walsh.

A book of condolences has been opened in Derry.

The final words of the children’s father:

The five family members who died in Sunday’s tragedy will be laid to rest on Thursday afternoon (24th March), following a funeral in the Holy Family Church in Ballymagroarty, County Derry.

Sean McGrotty, 46, his sons Mark, 12, and Evan, 8, his mother-in-law Ruth Daniels, 57, and Ruth’s daughter Jodie-Lee Daniels, 14 will have a wake first in the family home.

The burials will take place immediately after the funeral Mass, at Derry City Cemetery. It is believed that the children’s mother Louise James, who also lost her partner, mother and sister in the tragedy, will receive all five bodies at the family home.

Local parish priest Father Paddy O’Kane described the tragedy as the worst he had ever seen in 43 years and said the community is struggling to comprehend its magnitude.

Father O’Kane said: ‘Words fail me in describing the depth of pain and the vastness of this tragedy.’ He spent much of yesterday morning comforting the distraught family at Miss James’s home. He said: ‘I am 43 years a priest and nothing compares to this. This is way beyond anything in my wildest imagination.

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