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Buncrana Pier tragedy anniversary plans revealed

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, on Sunday, March 20 last year.

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

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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, Derry, 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.

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.”

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Funds raised from the walk will be donated to the Evan McGrotty Research Fund.

Lough Swilly RNLI Operations Manager, John McCarter, said crew members will "never forget" those who lost their lives.

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