Buncrana pier tragedy: Louise James thanks thousands for support

Louise James carrying a white coffin at the funerals of her family in the Holy Family Church, Ballymagroarty
Louise James carrying a white coffin at the funerals of her family in the Holy Family Church, Ballymagroarty

The Londonderry mother who lost five members of her family in the Buncrana pier tragedy has told of her “deep deep thanks” to the thousands of people who have supported her through her heartache.

Louise James revealed she still gets messages of support on a daily basis, and has been particularly touched by the young children who have sent their pocket money for baby Rioghnach.

Ms James lost her partner Sean McGrotty, 46, sons, Mark, 12 and Evan, eight, sister Jodie-Lee Tracey, 14, and her mother, Ruth Daniels, 57, in the tragedy at Lough Swilly in March this year.

Her baby, Rioghnach-Ann was saved from the tragedy by Davitt Walsh who brought her to shore.

In an interview with the Irish News, Ms James said: “I’m still receiving messages on a daily basis.

“It’s nice because I have read every single one and it makes you feel sometimes like you’re not the only one grieving.

“Even though I’ve had the biggest loss, you sort of feel that you are not on your own.”

She said she has received messages of support from across the world, including USA and Austrailia.

Ms James said she was touched by a book of condolence from the Nelson Street area of Londonderry - a unionist area of the city.

She said: “It proved that our town can come together - whether you’re Catholic or Protestant, nothing matters in a moment of need.” She added: “For such a small town it came together, city side and Waterside. That was lovely.”