Family ask for privacy on anniversary of Buncrana Pier tragedy

Buncrana Pier victims

Buncrana Pier victims

Today marks the first anniversary of the Buncrana pier tragedy - where five members of the same family drowned.

In the horrific tragedy Sean McGrotty, his sons Mark (12) and Evan (8), the boys’ grandmother Ruth Daniels and her teenage daughter Jodie-Lee, drowned in Lough Swilly when the vehicle they were in slid off the pier of the seaside town.

Seconds before the car sank, Mr McGrotty managed to hand the couple's baby daughter, Ríoghnach through the window to Davitt Walsh who swam out to the stricken vehicle.

Mr Walsh - a former Ballymena United player - who was walking along the pier with his girlfriend when he saw the tragedy unfold, managed to bring the infant safely to shore.

The only survivor was four-month-old baby Ríoghnach.

Tonight an anniversary Mass will be offered in the Holy Family Church in Ballymagroarty at 7.15pm.

And on Friday a special memorial walk is expected to take place in across the Peace Bridge in through St Columb’s Park ending up at Ebrington Square.

At a young age Evan was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, and since last year’s tragedy his mother Louise has helped to raise money in his memory.

The walk, which starts at 6pm, has been organised to raise funds for research into Muscular Dystrophy in memory of young Evan who suffered from the condition.

All proceeds from the walk will go to the Evan McGrotty Research Fund for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Registration for the walk, with a £2.50 registration fee, takes place on the day.

Local priest, Fr Michael Canny, has appealed for privacy for the family as the anniversary approaches.

Louise James carrying the coffin of one of her children

Louise James carrying the coffin of one of her children

Louise James and Davitt Walsh after they competed in marathon

Louise James and Davitt Walsh after they competed in marathon