Buncrana pier tragedy: Louise James thanks community for ‘support and kindness’

A section of the large crowd in attendance at the vigil in Buncrana.
A section of the large crowd in attendance at the vigil in Buncrana.

The Derry woman who lost five members of her family in last week’s devastating pier tragedy in Buncrana spoke at a vigil in the town on Sunday evening to thank the community for its ‘support, kindness and generosity.’

Over a thousand people gathered at Buncrana Shore Front to remember the five victims of last weeks tragedy at the town’s pier and express their support and sympathies with their families.

Louise James, who lost her partner Sean and two sons Mark and Evan, her mother Ruth and sister Jodie-Lee in last week's Buncrana drowning tragedy, pictured at Sunday night's Candlelight Vigil in the Inishowen seaside town with her brothers,  Joshua and Johnny and baby daughter Rioghnach-Ann.

Louise James, who lost her partner Sean and two sons Mark and Evan, her mother Ruth and sister Jodie-Lee in last week's Buncrana drowning tragedy, pictured at Sunday night's Candlelight Vigil in the Inishowen seaside town with her brothers, Joshua and Johnny and baby daughter Rioghnach-Ann.

They were also there to pay tribute to the many members of the emergency services who attended the scene on the night, as well as the members of the community who tried to save the family.

The vigil was held a week to day since Sean McGrotty, his sons Mark and Evan, Ruth Daniels and her daughter Jodie-Lee lost their lives.

Louise James, who lost her partner, sons, mother and sister, bravely addressed all those in attendance at the vigil, telling how “words can’t express” how she feels.

Many people were in tears and applauded as Ms James expressed a “massive” thanks to the community for its ‘words of support, kindness and generosity.’

“Thank you so much,” she said.

Men, women and children, from Derry, Inishowen and further afield united in prayer at the vigil, at which Fr Francis Bradley, PP Buncrana, said the community gathered in ‘solidarity’ with Louise and her baby daughter Rioghnach-Ann.

Also in attendance at the vigil was Francis Crawford and his wife Kay, who raised the alarm on the night and members of the emergency services. Fr Bradley offered up Five Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary for Sean, Mark, Evan, Ruth and Jodie-Lee, as well as Louise and Rioghnach-Ann, those who helped on the night, including Davitt Walsh and the Crawfords, as well as the emergency services.

A lone piper played ‘Amazing Grace,’ a song so synonymous with Lough Swilly while other songs were also played.

The vigil in Buncrana was one of a number held across Derry and Donegal on Sunday evening.