Buncrana pier tragedy hero awarded bravery medal

Davitt Walsh with baby Rioghnach-Ann.
Davitt Walsh with baby Rioghnach-Ann.

A man who saved the life of a four month old baby during the Buncrana pier tragedy earlier this year was presented with a bravery medal at a special awards ceremony in Dublin on Friday evening.

Sean McGrotty, 46, sons Mark, 12, and Evan, eight, Mr. McGrotty’s mother-in-law Ruth Daniels, 57, and her 15-year-old daughter Jodie Lee all died when the car they were in slid off the slipway at Buncrana pier and into the Lough Swilly.

After swimming out to the sinking car, Kerrykeel man Davitt Walsh, was handed baby Rioghnach-Ann by father, Sean McGrotty.

Mr. Walsh somehow managed to swim to shore with the little girl thereby saving her life.

At a ceremony in Dublin’s Farmleigh House, Mr Walsh, 30, was presented with the Michael Heffernan Gold Medal for Marine Gallantry.

Presented by Irish Transport Minister Shane Ross, the honour was in recognition of his “bravery at huge peril to his own safety to risk life, in an effort to save the life of a child”.

Last month, Mr. Walsh received an award for outstanding bravery at The Derry Journal People of the Year Awards in the Everglades Hotel.

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