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Bishop offers prayers for victims of Buncrana tragedy

By Sarah Mac Donald - 22 March, 2016

Buncrana pier. Pic courtesy: Donegal Democrat.

Buncrana pier. Pic courtesy: Donegal Democrat.

“There are no adequate words in the face of such pain,” Bishop Donal McKeown said on Monday after he had visited those bereaved by the Buncrana pier tragedy.

The Bishop of Derry said his thoughts and prayers were with those who are bereaved, “in particular a grieving mother”.

Louise McGrotty lost her husband Sean McGrotty (46), her sons Mark (12) and eight-year-old Evan, her mother Ruth Daniels (57) and her sister Jodie-Lee Daniels (14) after their car slid off the pier in Buncrana and sank in Lough Swilly shortly after 7.30pm on Sunday evening.

In his message, Bishop McKeown asked people of the diocese of Derry to keep the family in their thoughts and prayers over the coming days and weeks.

“May Christ, who suffered on the Cross on Calvary, be with all those touched by this painful event,” the Bishop prayed.

He added that suffering, which is so evident during Holy Week, can be a very challenging part of our experience of human life and of our lives as Christians.

“I pray for the recovery of the young child and for the man who was injured while assisting at the scene. I pray also for those who witnessed the traumatic events and the emergency services who attended,” he said.

League of Ireland footballer Davitt Walsh (29) from Kerrykeel leapt into the water when he saw the family in difficulty on Sunday evening. He managed to save four-month old baby Riochnagh-Ann McGrotty.

Dr McKeown also paid tribute to the emergency services who respond every day but above all in such tragic circumstances.  “We owe a debt of gratitude to those who assisted at Buncrana,” he said.

President Michael D. Higgins also offered his sympathy to the extended McGrotty family on learning of the tragic accident in Co Donegal.

“I have heard with the greatest sadness of the terrible loss of life of a family in Buncrana. My heart goes out to the family and loved ones of Sean McGrotty, Mark McGrotty (12), Evan McGrotty( 8), Ruth Daniels and Jodie Lee Daniels (14).”

“Sabina and I wish to express our deepest sympathies to the family and their communities. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.”

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