Buncrana pier tragedy probe ‘continuing’

The five members of the family who lost their live at Buncrana Pier: Jodie-Lee Tracey (14), top left, Mark (12) and Evan McGrotty (8), right, Ruth Daniels, bottom left and Sean Mcgrotty, centre.

The five members of the family who lost their live at Buncrana Pier: Jodie-Lee Tracey (14), top left, Mark (12) and Evan McGrotty (8), right, Ruth Daniels, bottom left and Sean Mcgrotty, centre.

Donegal County Council has confirmed it has gathered “some of the facts” surrounding the tragedy at Buncrana pier and the process is “continuing.”

In a statement to the ‘Journal,’ the Council also stated that in the wake of the tragedy, in which five members of one family from Derry lost their lives, it will undertake a review of the 150 piers and harbours along its coastline.

Numerous floral tributes were placed at Buncrana pier following the tragedy in March.

Numerous floral tributes were placed at Buncrana pier following the tragedy in March.

A spokesperson said the Council “would wish that such a tragedy would not happen again.”

They added that as the details of the tragedy become “known and are fully considered,” the Council “will review them and determine if any specific measures need to be taken.”

Additionally, it is expected that a decision on the re-opening of a locked gate at the top of the slipway, will be taken before the Buncrana to Rathmullan Ferry comes into operation.

The statement reads: “The incident at Buncrana Slipway on the night of 20 March resulted in the tragic loss of five lives when the family vehicle entered the water from the slipway. Piers and slipways are generally public places and open to the public. The interface between the dry land and the sea with all the variations that nature brings including water depths, tides, swells and currents, wave forces, seaweed and debris can make them a high risk location.

“The Council would wish that such a tragedy would not happen again. The Council have gathered some of the facts surrounding this unfortunate tragedy in Buncrana and that process is continuing. As the details become known and are fully considered, the Council will review them and determine if any specific measures need to be taken. The Council will also have regard to the findings from the Buncrana incident as they might relate to other piers and harbours and an initial process to do that is underway. The Council have roughly 150 piers of varying sizes and uses around its coastline.

“The Council are in negotiations for the resumption of the Buncrana to Rathmullan Ferry in early June and it is expected that a decision will be taken around the reopening of the locked gate at the top of the slipway before the Ferry comes into operation. The gate had been installed originally to regulate traffic queueing for the ferry.”