Buncrana Court falls silent in memory of those who died on Sunday

The Courthouse, Buncrana. DER0516MC011
The Courthouse, Buncrana. DER0516MC011

A minutes silence was held at Buncrana District Court on Tuesday morning in memory of those who died in the tragedy at Buncrana pier on Sunday.

Donegal District Court Judge Paul Kelly offered his sympathies and condolences to the McGrotty and Daniels families and said the tragedy had “cast a dark shadow” on Buncrana.

Judge Kelly paid tribute to the emergency services and also commended the “bravery and heroism” of Davitt Walsh, who helped save the life of baby Rioghnach-Ann, as well as his partner Stephanie Knox, who cared for her.

Judge Kelly opened court proceedings in the morning stating he wanted to express his sympathies to the two families on the “appalling tragedy which visited the town of Buncrana on Sunday night.”

He added that the town has “known more than it’s fair share of tragic deaths” in recent years and that the events of Sunday “deeply shocked everybody and cast a dark shadow on Buncrana.”

Judge Kelly said no-one “could not be moved looking at the photos of the family- the joy of two young boys at the birth of their sister just a few short months ago” and the joy of their parents.

He sympathised with the McGrotty family, who he said had experienced loss in their recent pass and to Louise “who is left with the task of bringing up her baby by herself.”

Judge Kelly added that his thoughts were also with the emergency services who had a “harrowing experience” and a minute’s silence was held in court.

Solicitor Ciaran MacLochlainn also expressed his condolences and told the court he had been rescued, unconscious, from the Swilly as a 12-year-old and was resuscitated on land.

He said the events of Sunday night had a “harrowing effect” upon him and told how there was “shock, horror and sadness” in the community.

Mr MacLochlainn said he had been “unable to get the whole scene” out of his head.

He also paid tribute to the heroism of Davitt Walsh and to the efforts made by Buncrana man Francis Crawford in alerting the emergency services.

Mr MacLochlainn commended the emergency services, who arrived within “minutes” to the scene.

Mr MacLochlainn said everyone’s prayers were with the young lady left without her mother, partner, sister and two sons.

Inspector Denis Joyce also expressed his sympathies, stating all there on the night faced a “tough scene.”

He said he hoped anyone who is affected in any way seek the appropriate help.