Mother eternally grateful to man who rescued baby daughter

Thousands attend funerals in Derry

Mother eternally grateful to man who rescued baby daughter

The mother who lost five members of her family in the Buncrana pier tragedy has thanked the man who dived into Lough Swilly and saved her four-month-old baby daughter.

Louise James used the funerals of the her two sons, her mother, her sister and her partner to thank Kerrykeel man Davitt Walsh for saving baby Rionaghac-Ann.

The funerals of Sean McGrotty, his sons Mark (12), and Evan (8), his mother-in-law Ruth Daniels and Ruth’s daughter Jodie Lee Daniels (14) took place in Derry on Thursday afternoon.

Around a thousand mourners packed into Holy Family Church with a similar number standing outside.

Louise read a poem she wrote following the tragedy on Sunday. “Their faces will forever map the sea, remembered by each and every one,” she said.

She thanked all those who were involved in the attempts to save the family who drowned after the car they were in got into difficulty at Buncrana pier. Gratitude was expressed to local man Francis Crawford for alerting the emergency services and giving assurances to Sean that help was on the way.

Louise also thanked for the emergency services who attended the scene before thanking Davitt Walsh and his girlfriend Stephanie Knox, who were at the funerals. The words of gratitude were met with a rousing round of applause from the congregation.

“Without fear for his own life and safety you entered the Lough Swilly to save my Rionaghac-Ann. I will be forever grateful to you. Thank you so, so much.”

Pictured: The remains of the five tragic family members are carried into the Holy Family Church for the Funeral service. (North West Newspix)