Belfast Telegraph

Buncrana pier tragedy

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By Sophie Inge

On March 20, five people lost their lives and a baby was miraculously rescued when a car plunged off a pier in Buncrana, Co Donegal.

Sean McGrotty (48), his sons Mark (12), Evan (eight), sister-in-law Jodie-Lee (14) and mother-in-law Ruth Daniels all died after Mr McGrotty's car slid on algae into the waters of Lough Swilly after a family day out.

The sole survivor was Mr McGrotty's four-month-old baby girl, Rionaghac-Ann, who was saved with the help of a brave bystander.


The baby was passed out the window of the sinking vehicle to Donegal man Davitt Walsh who swam out to the family.

The tragedy was a terrible blow for Mr McGrotty's partner and mother to the children, Louise James, who lost five members of her family.

A priest at the funerals said people were "bewildered by the intensity of grief" the family was feeling.

"We are plunged in grief - even the heavens are crying," Fr Paddy O'Kane, the family's priest, added.

"Five beautiful people have been taken tragically from our midst, five people we loved.

"Not just this family, this community, this country, but also people from all over the world are united with us in grief."

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