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Heartbroken family release Buncrana Pier tragedy anniversary plans

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The scene at Buncrana, inset from left Sean McGrotty (46), his mother-in-law Ruth Daniels (57) and her 15-year-old daughter Jodie Lee his sons Mark (12) and Evan (8); far right mum Louise with Evan

The scene at Buncrana, inset from left Sean McGrotty (46), his mother-in-law Ruth Daniels (57) and her 15-year-old daughter Jodie Lee his sons Mark (12) and Evan (8); far right mum Louise with Evan

The victims of the Buncrana tragedy: (clockwise from top left) Louise’s partner Sean McGrotty, their two sons Mark and Evan, sister Jodie Lee Daniels and her mother Ruth

The victims of the Buncrana tragedy: (clockwise from top left) Louise’s partner Sean McGrotty, their two sons Mark and Evan, sister Jodie Lee Daniels and her mother Ruth

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The scene at Buncrana, inset from left Sean McGrotty (46), his mother-in-law Ruth Daniels (57) and her 15-year-old daughter Jodie Lee his sons Mark (12) and Evan (8); far right mum Louise with Evan

The family of the victims of the Buncrana tragedy will host a mass and a memorial walk to mark the first anniversary of the event.

Louise James lost her partner Sean McGrotty (49) their sons Evan (8) and Mark (12), her mother Ruth Daniels (57) and her daughter Jodie Lee Daniels (14) when their car slid on algae on Buncrana pier, Co Donegal.

The Holy Family Church, in the Ballymagroarty area of Derry, was packed with mourners today who had come to bid a final farewell to the five victims of Sunday night's tragedy.

Seconds before the car sank Mr McGrotty handed the couple's baby Rioghnach through the window to hero Davitt Walsh who swam to their aid on March 20, 2016.

In a statement the family said they "are deeply grateful for the prayers and support over the last year".

The first anniversary mass will be offered in The Holy Family Church, Ballymagroarty on Monday, March 20 at 7.15pm.

The statement adds that a memorial walk "in memory of all five members of the family" will take place on Friday March 24 in Derry.

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Sean McGrotty and his partner Louise James, with children Mark (12), Evan (8), and baby Rioghnach-Ann

Sean McGrotty and his partner Louise James, with children Mark (12), Evan (8), and baby Rioghnach-Ann

Anyone who is taking part in the walk is asked to pay a registration fee of £2.50 (€2.86) and all proceeds will go to the Evan McGrotty Research Fund for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

The statement, released by Fr Michael Canny on behalf of the family, says: "Louise, The Daniels and The McGrotty family are deeply grateful for the prayers and support over the last year. As the Anniversary of the terrible tragedy approaches they would welcome space for privacy at this time."

Fr Joe Gormley, a close fr

To donate to the Evan McGrotty Research Fund for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy click here

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