Talent Northwest singer donates '˜substantial' amount of winnings to victims' families

The winner of Talent Northwest has donated a significant amount of her prize money to the families of the Buncrana Pier tragedy, adding to an already huge fundraising effort taking place across the North West.

Friday, 15th April 2016, 9:08 am
Updated Friday, 15th April 2016, 9:13 am
Talent Northwest 2016 winner, 13 years-old Amy Meehan pictured receiving her winner's cheque from Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness this week. The young singer/musician won this year's title coming out on top at the final in the Millennium Forum on Easter Saturday. Included are Oliver Green, Talent Northwest producer and proud parents, John and Alice. Young Amy made a sizeable donation of her winnings to the Buncrana Tragedy Appeal.

Sean McGrotty, 46, died along with his two sons Mark, 12, and Evan, eight, their grandmother Ruth Daniels, 57, and her 14-year-old daughter Jodie Lee Daniels when their SUV sank after sliding off a pier slipway last month.

Teenager Amy Meehan was crowned the winner of Talent Northwest on Monday past and won the overall prize of £2,016.

She was presented with her cheque by the Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness and immediately pledged what’s been described as a “substantial” sum to the fund for Louise James and her daughter.

Talent Northwest Producer Ollie Green praised the local singer for her generosity.

He said: “What a wonderful young lady and an example to all in making a sizeable donation to the families of the Buncrana tragedy from her winnings.

“Her parents should indeed be proud, not just of her singing and musical skills but her kindness and thoughtfulness.”

Galliagh based youth worker, Marty McGranaghan, who set up a ‘Just Giving’ page in the aftermath of the tragedy said this week he wanted to inform the public that the online fundraising campaign will close on Wednesday April 20.

“The response has been staggering,” he told the ‘Journal.’

“People from right across the world have donated which will be of some comfort to the family in the tough times ahead. Even in the midst of such tragedy the family will have practical commitments to meet in the coming months and when I set this page up in the days after what happened, it was because I wanted to do something to make sure that at no point would Louise have to worry about money.

“I don’t think any of us can begin to imagine what the families have gone through but we know that they have been through enough and that anything we can do to make life easier for them, we will. That’s why every donation has mattered, regardless of how much. People have been unbelievably generous.”

At the time of going to press the Just Giving page had reached a total of £66,037 - over 13 times the original target of £5,000.

Other fundraising initiatives are taking place across Derry and Donegal.