A Londonderry man who started an online fundraising initiative to assist the devastated family of those who died in Buncrana has said he is totally stunned after more than £20,000 was donated in less than 24 hours.
Marty McGranaghan was speaking after his Just Giving Page sparked a massive response both locally and internationally.
Mr McGranaghan, who is related to those who lost their lives, said he felt compelled to launch the online fund raiser as a way of trying to do something positive in the midst of the devastating tragedy.
Mr McGranaghan said he had initially been worried about meeting the £5,000 target set for the 30 day online campaign, and was stunned when the target was met four times over by Tuesday afternoon. He said: “When something like this happens you want to do anything you can and the only thing I could do for them was fundraising. It is so tragic and it has really affected everyone. I don’t think there is anybody out there this hasn’t touched.
“I know myself how much money a funeral costs and in this case you are looking at five funerals. It is terrible at a time of trying to come to terms with losing relatives and bury your loved ones if you have to worry about the costs.
“When I set it up I thought that at least it runs for 30 days and that it would probably take that amount of time to raise £5,000, but it had reached that within a few hours. I had been worrying because if you don’t reach the target, it doesn’t happen, but the amount raised, it’s shocking. There have been a lot of support from here, and even from Australia and America.
“The pressure these people are going to take off the family, they are lifting a massive weight off their shoulders.
“It just goes to show how when a tragedy happens people unite and do what they can. Even it is only donating £1, that £1 goes a long way.”
It is understood that the immediate family are aware of the tidal wave of support from the community.
He now plans to collect and compile the comments that have accompanied the donations after the 30 days, in case the family wish to read them at a later date.
Earlier this week Buncrana woman Michelle Black spoke about how she was also moved to set up a Just Giving Page, along with a Credit Union account (A/C No 23688) and a collection of donations at the Plaza. Within 24 hours her own Just giving page alone had raised almost £8,000.
To donate to Marty’s Page meanwhile go to: https://crowdfunding.justgiving.com/Buncranatragedy.