Sunday 22 April 2018

Flag flies at half mast over Government Buildings for Buncrana victims

File picture
File picture
Sean, Louise, baby Rioghnach Ann, Evan and Mark McGrotty.
Ruth Daniels
Jodie Lee Daniels
Cathal McMahon

Cathal McMahon

The Irish flag is flying at half mast over government buildings as a mark of respect to victims of the Buncrana drowning tragedy.

Five members of the McGrotty and Daniels family died when their SUV left the pier in the Donegal town on Sunday evening.

Baby Rionaghac-Ann miraculously survived after hero Davitt Walsh swam to the sinking vehicle and saved her.

The funerals of Ruth Daniels (57), her daughter Jodie Lee Daniels (14), Sean McGrotty (49) and his sons Mark (12) and eight-year-old Evan are due to take place in Derry tomorrow.

The tricolour was hanging at half mast on government buildings today.

Read More: Kenny praises Buncrana hero as Dáil reflects on 'numbing grief' in community

Yesterday tributes were paid to the victims as the Dail stood for a minute's silence.

Acting Taoiseach Enda Kenny said: "We all know in our own lives the numbing grief that comes from the loss of a loved one.

"In these circumstances, however, this is of particular and deepest grief that the tranquillity and beauty of a sunny spring Sunday had been shattered by this tragedy."

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin described the five lost lives as "an unspeakable tragedy".

"I think the nation is truly shocked at the scale of this tragedy and its impact on the wider community in Donegal and Derry," he said.

Tánaiste Joan Burton said Donegal was "no stranger to very serious accidents involving loss of life in recent years".

"It is sad that a pleasant spring day turned into such a tragedy for this family and their extended family and friends in Derry.”

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams paid tribute to the emergency services and those who intervened to try and save the family. On behalf of the Independent Alliance, Shane Ross said the number of deaths was "utterly devastating for the people of the area and the nation".

Read More: Mum's bravery as pier victims go home

Catherine Murphy of the Social Democrats said the communities in Derry and Donegal had "been traumatised" and were united in grief.

Flags on public buildings around the state are also at half-mast for those killed in blasts in the Belgian capital Brussels on Tuesday.

More than 30 people died and 250 were injured in explosions at the city's airport and a metro station, with the so-called Islamic State group claiming it was behind the attacks.

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