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Man rescued off Buncrana pier where family tragedy occurred

By Staff Reporter

Published 09/05/2016

The scene of the tragedy at Buncrana that claimed five lives
The scene of the tragedy at Buncrana that claimed five lives

A man was rescued last night after he was found in the water off Buncrana pier, where five members of the same Londonderry familiy died in March.

He was spotted by a passer-by at around 10pm, according to the Donegal Daily website.

A life-ring was thrown to the man from the pier and he was pulled to safety.

He was treated at the scene by members of the fire service before being taken to Letterkenny University Hospital.

The man is understood to be in a stable condition, the website reported.

The incident is the second emergency at the same spot within weeks.

In March, Sean McGrotty (46) died along with his two sons Mark (12) and Evan (8), their grandmother Ruth Daniels (57), and her 14-year-old daughter Jodie Lee Daniels when their SUV sank after sliding off the algae-covered Buncrana pier slipway.

In the wake of the tragedy, Donegal County Council said it would review safety measures at the pier.

In the immediate aftermath, the council had been criticised after a barrier to the pier remained open.

Cars were still able to access the slipway, despite the potential for disaster.

Hero Davitt Walsh (28) was praised after jumping into Lough Swilly, swimming out to the sinking car and saving four-month-old Rioghnach-Ann McGrotty after she was passed to him by Mr McGrotty.

Mr Walsh spoke last week of the traumatic moment he had to let go the hand of 12-year-old Mark in order to save baby Rioghnach-Ann.

“I had the baby in one hand and the next thing the dad just went back into the car,” he told a special ITV programme on what makes people intervene to help strangers in trouble.

“He turned round to me and he just said: ‘Save the baby’.

“I still had Mark’s hand — and then I had to let go — he was going to pull me in as the car went down.

“The whole thing happened in seconds.”

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