Belfast Telegraph

Buncrana pier tragedy: Brother thanks wellwishers from across world

By Eamonn MacDermott

A brother of Sean McGrotty, who died in the tragedy at Buncrana pier last Sunday, has told a vigil for the dead that his family had drawn strength from support from around the world.

Frank McGrotty said it had "been of great comfort to the family at this most tragic time".

He was speaking at a vigil in Derry held a week to the minute after his brother and four of Sean's family died when their car slipped into the waters of Lough Swilly in Co Donegal.

As the Guildhall clock struck seven the crowd stood for a minute's silence in memory of the five victims before lighting candles.

Those who died were Ruth Daniels (57), her daughter Jodi-Lee (14), Sean McGrotty (49), and his sons Mark (12) and Evan (8).

Despite blustery winds and freezing rain hundreds of people assembled in Guildhall Square to remember the dead from the tragedy.

It was one of several vigils held to mark the horrifying accident, including one at the scene in Buncrana.

In Derry, Frank McGrotty told those gathered: "I would like to thank the people of this city for their support and everything they have done for us as a family.

"They have kept us in their prayers and I have to say it has been a great comfort to the family at this most tragic time to have the thoughts and support of the people of this city with us.

"Words escape me and I am still struggling to come to terms with what has happened.

"But the outpouring of support from across this city, this country and indeed worldwide, has been tremendous."

The Derry vigil was organised by Kerry Moran, who felt that something should be done to mark the sad event.

"I just felt that it was all so tragic and I suggested on Facebook that maybe we should do something," she explained.

"Within no time at all I had over 1,000 responses.

"I never expected that, but I am glad we organised this."

Former SDLP Assemblyman Pat Ramsey briefly addressed the gathering and thanked everyone for attending. "This has been one of the most horrible disasters to hit any family or indeed to affect this city," he said.

"But this is being remembered across the world.

"I think there is hardly a state in the US where there won't be a candle lit to remember the five tragic victims of this terrible event.

"People have been contacting me from across the globe to express their support and sympathy to the McGrotty and Daniels family.

"And I have no doubt that support will continue."

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