Buncrana Pier re-opens after
BUNCRANA Pier has
re-opened for business three months after the
drowning tragedy that claimed the lives of five
members of the same family.
The Lough Swilly car ferry from Buncrana to
Rathmullan has resumed its summer sailing schedule
as tourists and local people slowly return to the
Donegal County Council today confirmed that the
pierís slipway was cleaned last week to remove algae
ahead of the resumption of ferry sailings on Friday,
A combination of sodium hypochlorite and pressure
washing was used to remove the slippery green
The local authority said algae build-up will be
monitored while the ferry is in operation over the
next three months.
The pier fell eerily quiet in the weeks following
the tragic deaths on March 20 of Derry man Sean
McGrotty, 49, his sons Mark, 12, and Evan, 8, his
mother-in-law Ruth Daniels, 57, and Ms Daniels'
daughter Jodie Lee Daniels,14.
It is understood the accident happened after Mr
McGrotty's Audi 4x4 got into difficulty on the
slipway and slid into the tidal water after a
daytrip to the seaside.
His baby daughter Rionaghac-Ann was the sole
survivor of the accident after she was rescued by
Fanad footballer Davitt Walsh, 29, who bravely swam
out to the sinking vehicle.
The infantís mother Louise James, 35, who lost her
partner, two sons, mother and sister in the tragedy,
recently thanked those involved in the search and
rescue operation. She said she was grateful for the
huge outpouring of sympathy as news of her enormous
loss spread across the world.
Pier tragedy: Clockwise, Sean
McGrotty, Ruth Daniels, Mark and Evan McGrotty, and
Jodie Lee Daniels.
Donegal County Council
also confirmed that a preliminary review of safety
at the pier has been carried out with the final
review due to be completed later this year.
The local authority said that the safety gate at the
slipway will be locked by the ferry operator,
Arranmore Ferries, each night during the summer
"The ferry operator has signs in place to help
control traffic wishing to board the ferry and
traffic is directed down the slipway and onto the
ferry by the ferry crew," said a council
"The gate at Buncrana (slipway) remains open while
the ferry operates between 10am and 8pm and is then
closed and locked by the ferry operator at night,"
the spokesperson added.
Meanwhile, hundreds of people are expected on the
pier at midday this Saturday for the official naming
and dedication of the new 2.4 million euro Lough
Swilly RNLI lifeboat 'Derek Bullivant'.