Monday 16 January 2017

Buncrana tragedy: Almost €90,000 donated to help devastated family

Greg Harkin

Published 26/03/2016 | 02:30

Sean, Louise, baby Rioghnach Ann, Evan and Mark McGrotty.
Sean, Louise, baby Rioghnach Ann, Evan and Mark McGrotty.

People from around the world have donated almost €90,000 in just five days in memory of the five people who died in the Buncrana pier tragedy.

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Two online campaigns and a fundraiser in New York will help the McGrotty/Daniels family.

Louise James kisses son Evan McGrotty after he and his brother Mark (behind) collected their medals for the Walled City Marathon mini race last May from Mayor of Derry Elisha McCallion. Photo: Margaret McLaughlin
Louise James kisses son Evan McGrotty after he and his brother Mark (behind) collected their medals for the Walled City Marathon mini race last May from Mayor of Derry Elisha McCallion. Photo: Margaret McLaughlin

Marty McGranaghan from Derry, who set up a Justgiving account hoping to raise £5,000, says he has been overwhelmed by donations topping £45,000 (€57,000) by last night.

Read more: How five beautiful lives were lost in an instant

Buncrana mother-of-four Michelle Black has raised €19,490, and a fundraiser in New York on Thursday night added another €9,000 to the total.

Derry charity worker Mr McGranaghan, a relative of those who died, said Louise James, who lost five family members in the tragedy, had been overwhelmed by the support.

Louise James (front left) breaks down as she carries the coffin of one of her sons. Photo: PA
Louise James (front left) breaks down as she carries the coffin of one of her sons. Photo: PA
The slipway at Buncrana Pier. Photo: Kyran O'Brien

Ms James lost her partner Sean McGrotty (46), her sons Mark (12) and Evan (8), as well as her mother Ruth Daniels (59) and her 14-year-old sister Jodi-Lee.

Her four-month-old baby Rioghnach-Ann was rescued from the water by brave Davitt Walsh.

"I lost my own mother in 2012 and afterwards realised the huge costs of funerals so I set up a Justgiving.com page asking for £5,000 to help out the family," said Mr McGranaghan.

Read more: The grief and remarkable strength of a mother as she buries her family

"People have donated almost 10 times that from across Ireland and around the world.

"I know this is never going to bring back those who died, but thanks to the generous people of Ireland and around the world, it is one less worry for Louise and her baby."

He said Louise was extremely grateful for the support.

She had raised €20,000 for muscular dystrophy charities because Evan had been suffering from the condition.

People can make donations at crowdfunding.justgiving.com/Buncranatragedy

Irish Independent

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