By Sarah Mac Donald - 24 March, 2016
The Primate of All Ireland on Wednesday evening visited the Derry home of the family members who died in the Buncrana pier tragedy on Sunday evening.
Archbishop Eamon Martin, who is originally from Derry himself, said he wished to express the closeness of so many of the people of Ireland to Louise and the extended family and friends of Mark, Evan, Jodie-Lee, Ruth and Sean.
The Archbishop also visited the Holy Family parish church to sign the book of condolence and met with Bishop Donal McKeown of Derry, and the parish priest Fr Paddy O’Kane, who is due to officiate at the funeral service today, Holy Thursday.
“In the midst of such awful tragedy this family has made us all think of how precious and important our loved ones are to us,” Archbishop Martin said ahead of his visit.
During his visit, the Archbishop also offered prayers for baby Rionaghac-Ann, her mother Louise and the people of Derry and Buncrana who have been so deeply affected by the tragedy.
“At a time like this I realise that any words of mine are totally inadequate. The enormous tragedy that has struck this family has stunned us all into silence. What can we say? All we can offer is our spiritual presence with them and the promise of our prayers.”
Archbishop Martin said that people from all over Ireland and beyond want to be close to all the bereaved in this time of grief and desolation.
“Even in the midst of such awful tragedy, this family has made us all think of how precious and important our loved ones are to us.”
He pledged that in the coming days of the Easter Triduum, as people from all over Ireland gather in Church to remember the suffering and sense of abandonment that Jesus felt on the Cross at Calvary, “we will be thinking especially of Louise, baby Rionaghac-Ann and their extended family and friends.”
“And we will pray that, in this darkness, the Risen Christ, our Light and our Hope, will comfort them and all those who knew and loved Mark, Evan, Jodie-Lee, Ruth and Sean. May they rest in the peace of Christ.”