A memorial walk was held in Derry in memory of the five people who tragically perished when their jeep slipped into Lough Swilly on March 20th last year.
The tragedy claimed the lives of Sean McGrotty, 49, his young songs Mark, 12, and Evan, 8, his 59-year-old mother-in-law Ruth Daniels and sister-in-law Jodie Lee Daniels, aged 14. Their jeep had skid on algae on the pier, leading to the vehicle entering the water.
Four-month-old Rionaghac-Ann was rescued by former League of Ireland footballer Davitt Walsh when her father Sean passed her out to Davitt through the window.
The walk raised funds for the Evan McGrotty Research Fund for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Louise and Sean had been raising funds for the condition since little Evan was diagnosed at the age of three.
Louise and Sean dedicated their lives to raising funds to assist clinical research for their son and other children who suffer from the same condition.
In Evan’s name, Louise set up the Evan McGrotty Research Fund.
The walk began at 6pm last night at Sainsbury’s, with participants walking through St. Columb’s Park and ending at Ebrington Square.
Along the route, there were five points where the walkers stopped and took a moment to pay a short symbolic tribute to each member of the family.
Organisers of the event said; “Thank you to everyone for coming out tonight to support the memorial walk. It was fantastic to see the people of this city come together once more and we couldn’t have done it without all the help from the local companies who sponsored us, the volunteers, St Johns Ambulance, Danny Meenan and Martin Daly and the whole event team and thanks to Martin Bradley our speaker, you all volunteered to help us carry this off and we couldn’t have done it without you.”
An anniversary mass also took place at The Holy Family Church in Ballymagroarty, Derry, concelebrated by Fr Noel Brown, Fr Joe Gormley and Fr John Walsh.
The church was filled to capacity for the mass as the community gathered together in memory of the family.
Bishop of Derry Donald McKeown and staff and pupils of Evan, Mark and Jodie Lee’s schools; St Eithne’s Primary School, St Joseph’s Boys’ School and St Mary’s College, were also in attendence.
A statement, released by Fr Michael Canny on behalf of the family, says: “Louise, The Daniels and The McGrotty family are deeply grateful for the prayers and support over the last year. As the Anniversary of the terrible tragedy approaches they would welcome space for privacy at this time.”