Wednesday 26 July 2017

Latest tragedy to rock seaside town which has seen heartache over the years

Flowers left at the scene at Buncrana Pier in Co Donegal after five people, including at least two children, have been killed and a baby girl is in hospital after a car they were in slipped from the pier
Flowers left at the scene at Buncrana Pier in Co Donegal after five people, including at least two children, have been killed and a baby girl is in hospital after a car they were in slipped from the pier
Flowers left at the scene at Buncrana Pier in Co Donegal after five people, including at least two children, have been killed and a baby girl is in hospital after a car they were in slipped from the pier
Gardai at the scene at Buncrana Pier in Co Donegal after five people, including at least two children, have been killed and a baby girl is in hospital after a car they were in slipped from the pier

The horror that unfolded in the waters off Buncrana pier, in which five people died when a car slid into the sea, is the latest tragedy to rock a small seaside town that has had more than its share of heartache.

More than 30 years ago musician Phil Coulter's sister Cyd, a social worker, was killed along with a man she was attempting to counsel when he drove them both off the same Co Donegal pier.

Gardai at the scene at Buncrana Pier in Co Donegal after five people, including at least two children, have been killed and a baby girl is in hospital after a car they were in slipped from the pier
Gardai at the scene at Buncrana Pier in Co Donegal after five people, including at least two children, have been killed and a baby girl is in hospital after a car they were in slipped from the pier

Read More: Donegal pier tragedy: Five members of one family, including two young brothers, identified as victims

In August 1998 the eyes of the world were on the Co Tyrone town of Omagh when a dissident republican bomb killed 29 people, but three of the victims, all young children, were from across the Irish border in Buncrana.

Flowers left at the scene at Buncrana Pier in Co Donegal after five people, including at least two children, have been killed and a baby girl is in hospital after a car they were in slipped from the pier
Flowers left at the scene at Buncrana Pier in Co Donegal after five people, including at least two children, have been killed and a baby girl is in hospital after a car they were in slipped from the pier

Read More: Watch: 'He could hardly hold the baby, he was that exhausted' - Witness

Oran Doherty, eight, and 12-year-olds Sean McLoughlin and James Barker had been on a day trip to Omagh with a group of Spanish students who had been attending a summer programme in the Co Donegal town.

Read More: Passerby's 'heroic actions definitely saved that baby's life' - RNLI

Two Spaniards, one leader and one student, were also killed in the bomb.

Six years ago the most devastating road crash in the history of the Irish state occurred on the outskirts of Buncrana.

Read More: Buncrana tragedy: Baby rescued after she was 'thrown from car' as family die in pier tragedy

Eight men were killed in the horrific collision in July 2010 when an overloaded Volkswagen Passat smashed into an oncoming car on the road between Clonmany and Buncrana.

The driver of the Volkswagen, Shaun Kelly, survived but all seven of his passengers were killed.

Eamon McDaid, 22; Mark McLaughlin, 21; Paul Doherty, 19; Ciaran Sweeney, 19; Patrick PJ McLaughlin, 21; James McEleney, 23; and Damien McLaughlin, 21, all died.

The young men spent the hours before the crash watching the football World Cup final in Clonmany.

The driver of the other car - Hugh Friel, 66 - was also killed.

Kelly, of Hill Road, Ballymagan, Buncrana, was later found guilty of causing the deaths by dangerous driving.

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