Funeral today for five family members who drowned at Buncrana pier

Undated family handout photo issued by the Garda of Sean McGrotty, with his partner Louise holding their baby, four-month-old Rionaghac-Ann and his sons Mark, 12, (right) and Evan, eight
Undated family handout photo issued by the Garda of Sean McGrotty, with his partner Louise holding their baby, four-month-old Rionaghac-Ann and his sons Mark, 12, (right) and Evan, eight

The five victims of a pier drowning tragedy in Ireland will be laid to rest today after a joint funeral service.

Sean McGrotty, 46, died along with his two sons Mark, 12, and Evan, eight, their grandmother Ruth Daniels, 57, and her 14-year-old daughter Jodie Lee Daniels when their SUV sank after sliding off a slipway in Buncrana, Co Donegal.

File photo dated 21/03/16 of the scene at Buncrana Pier

File photo dated 21/03/16 of the scene at Buncrana Pier

The only survivor of Sunday night’s accident in Lough Swilly was Mr McGrotty’s four-month-old baby girl Rionaghac-Ann.

Her mother Louise has said the baby is her only reason to go on living, having lost her partner, two sons, her mother and sister.

Holy Family Church, near the family home in the Ballymagroarty area of Londonderry, will be packed with mourners for this afternoon’s requiem mass.

It is understood the vehicle lost grip on a thick blanket of algae coating the pier’s slipway and slid into the water.

Co Donegal man Davitt Walsh has been hailed a hero after swimming out into the harbour in an effort to save the six occupants of the Audi Q7.

Mr McGrotty handed him his baby out of the broken driver’s side window just moments before the vehicle sank.

The victims were on a day out from nearby Londonderry when the tragedy unfolded.