Mary O'Donnell holding photographs of her son 'Doalty' O'Donnell who was a crew member of the Carraig Una that sank on the 23rd November 1976. Photo Thomas Gallagher
A Donegal woman whose husband and brother were among the five men who died in the Carraig Úna fishing tragedy says the support the families received from fishing communities all over the county has made all the difference to them.
Annmarie Carbery told the DD/DPP, "The families are so grateful for the support and genuine friendship we received from neighbours, the communities of Burtonport, The Rosses, Killybegs and fishing communities all along the coast over the last 40 years.
"They've been such a great support to us. They were really, really caring and their support was heartfelt."
Annmarie, who lost her husband Ted and her brother John in the disaster, added, "Since the Carraig Úna tragedy, a strong bond has grown up between all the families and with others who have lost loved ones at sea, and that has also been a great support to us."
All five members of the Carraig Úna's crew perished when the trawler struck a treacherous reef near Rathlin O'Beirne island at around 4am on November 23rd, 1976.
Those who died were: skipper Ted Carbery (27), a native of Mountmellick, Co. Laois living in Dungloe; his brother-in-law John Boyle (18), Meenmore; Doalty O’Donnell (23), Meenbanad; Micheál Coyle (22), Meenmore, Dungloe ; and Anthony McLaughlin (18) of Ross Head, Glengad.
The same reef had claimed six lives just 22 months earlier, when the Evelyn Marie sank in almost identical circumstances.
The 40th anniversary of the Carraig Úna tragedy will be marked by memorial masses this Saturday at 6pm in St Columba’s Church, Acres, Burtonport, on Sunday at 11am in St Mary’s Church, Killybegs and on Wednesday, November 23rd, at 7pm in St Mary’s Church Kincasslagh.
Each of the Carraig Úna families told the DD/DPP this week of how much the heartfelt support they have been given by a community that is sadly all too familiar with such losses means to them.
Those who gather once again to support the Carraig Úna families as they remember their loved ones will also be remembering all of those who lost their lives in the perilous seas off Donegal.
See more in today's Donegal Democrat and Donegal People's Press.