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Buncrana pier tragedy inquest to be held in November

AN inquest into the deaths of five members of the one family who all drowned after their car slipped off Buncrana pier is expected to take place over two days in November and will hear from 12 witnesses. 
 
Sean McGrotty, from Derry, his two young sons, Mark and Ethan, their grandmother, Ruth Daniels and her teenage daughter, Jodie-Lee Daniels, all tragically lost their lives in the incident on March 20, 2016.
 
The sole survivor of the tragedy, Mr McGrotty’s baby daughter,  Rioghnach-Ann, was rescued from the sinking car by Kerrykeel man, Davitt Walsh, who bravely swam into Lough Swilly to come to the family’s aid. 
 
A pre-evidential hearing was formally opened today by Donegal Coroner, Dr Denis McCauley, at the Inishowen Gateway Hotel in Buncrana. 
 
Speaking at the 20-minute evidential hearing, Dr McCauley said the aim of the hearing was to promote an effective process and to prevent an adjournment in the inquest. 
 
The Donegal Coroner said the inquest is expected to be held over two days on November 22 and 23.
 
Among those present at Friday’s short hearing were members of the deceased, Michael Staines, solicitor for Donegal County Council, Eoin Armstrong, motor insurer and Inspector David Murphy, on behalf of An Garda Siochana. 
 
Dr McCauley said there were 69 draft depositions taken in the wake of the tragedy from local people who had been in the area at the time.
 
However, he said these have been “whittled down” to 12 depositions which will be heard during the inquest. 
 
Conorner McCauley added that he will swear in a jury to sit at the inquest. The hearing was adjourned until September 27 for mention. 
 

Five family members, from Derry, who lost their lives at Buncrana pier in March.

 
 

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