Belfast Telegraph

Pier tragedy mum thanks the public for their support

By Staff Reporter

Louise James - the woman whose partner, two sons, sister and mother died in the Buncrana pier tragedy - has thanked the thousands of people who gave their support in the aftermath of the tragedy.

Speaking to the Irish News, Louise described how the thousands of messages of sympathy, goodwill and hope she has received in the three months since the March tragedy have helped her during her grief.

Louise said she was not yet ready to talk about the tragedy but felt the need to publicly thank people from all over the world who have contacted her.

Louise's 48-year-old partner Sean McGrotty, sons Mark (12) and 8-year-old Evan, her 14-year-old sister Jodie-Lee and mother Ruth Daniels (58) all drowned when Mr McGrotty's car slid on algae into the waters of Lough Swilly after a family day out.

The sole survivor was Louise's baby daughter Rioghnach-Ann.

The four-month-old was passed out the window of the sinking vehicle to Davitt Walsh who swam out to the family.

Louise said: "I'm still receiving messages on a daily basis. It's nice because I have read every single one and it makes you feel sometimes like you're not the only one grieving."

Louise added she was particularly moved by countless children who sent their pocket money to support her.

And she paid tribute to the scores of people who helped at the scene and those who supported her in the aftermath of the tragedy.

"I want to say a big thanks to everyone, starting with the people who were there that night, all the Emergency Services, the RNLI, all the staff at Letterkenny hospital, Davitt (Walsh) and (his girlfriend) Stephanie (Knox).

"I want to thank Connie and Theresa (McIntyre) because Connie and Theresa helped Davitt and Stephanie - they were there that night but have not really come into the picture. I want to thank Kay and Francis Crawford.

"I want to thank Fr Paddy O'Kane. He has been a tower of strength to me. He's been at the door, he's been at the house, he been at the other end of the phone."

Belfast Telegraph


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