On this saddest of days in Londonderry, the five members of the McGrotty and Daniels family, who drowned at Buncrana Pier on Sunday, will be laid to rest, following a funeral service in Ballymagroarty this afternoon.
Little boys Mark (aged 12) and Evan (aged 8), McGrotty, their daddy, Sean McGrotty (aged 49), their granny Ruth Daniels (aged 57) and their aunt, Jodie-Lee Daniels (aged 14) all perished after the 4X4 vehicle they were in slid into Lough Swilly following a run to the beach at the weekend.
They’re survived by their mammy, partner, daughter and sister, Louise, who received devastating news as she was returning from Liverpool on Sunday.
Everyone who’s heard of her loss this week is sharing in a tiny fraction of her enormous grief.
A significant mercy was the successful rescue of four month-old Rionaghach-Ann by heroic former League of Ireland and Irish League footballer Davitt Walsh.
The Bishop of Derry and Raphoe said the sense of loss being suffered by Louise is inconceivable.
He visited the family home on Monday afternoon, accompanied by the Bishop of Derry, Donal McKeown, and the Parish Priest of Holy Family parish, Rev Patrick O’Kane.
“I am profoundly saddened by Sunday evening’s tragedy in Buncrana, which resulted in the loss of so many lives,” he said.
“It is impossible for most of us to comprehend the depth of heartache that the bereaved are experiencing. For Louise, in particular – who has lost two of her children, Mark and Evan; her partner, Sean; her mother, Ruth; and her sister, Jodie-Lee – the sense of loss is inconceivable. I pray that she, and the wider Daniels and McGrotty family circles, will experience God’s grace and consolation in the days that lie ahead. I offer my most heartfelt condolences to all who have been bereaved.”
A funeral service will take place at Holy Family Parish Church at 2pm.