Buncrana pier tragedy: Poignant Croke Park tribute planned for victims

The victims: From left, Mark McGrotty (12) and Evan McGrotty (8), Sean McGrotty (49), Ruth Daniels (57), and Jodie Lee Daniels (14)
Seamus McKinney

Dublin GAA fans are planning a poignant Croke Park tribute to the victims of Sunday’s drowning tragedy at tonight's National League Game with Donegal.

Supporters of the Dubs are being asked to applaud five minutes into the game as a mark of respect to Sean McGrotty (49), his sons, Mark (12) and Evan (8) and their grandmother, Ruth Daniels (57) and their aunt Jodi-Lee Daniels (14) who lost their lives in the Buncrana tragedy.

The official Dublin supporters group has chosen the fifth minute to mark a moment for each of the five victims.

In a post on the official Dublin supporters Facebook page, fans were asked to join the gesture.

"Good evening Dubs. As everyone is now well aware, the Donegal seaside town of Buncrana was the scene of a tragic accident resulting in the deaths of 5 people, including three children on Sunday evening.

"The lads on the all Dublin GAA fans page have suggested that in the fifth minute of Saturday evening’s game against Donegal the whole stadium should stand up as one with a minute’s applause in honour of those who perished.

"We here on the Dubs supporters’ page would like to appeal to everyone of you present on Saturday to join in and support this very fine gesture. Tragedies like this make you realise how precious life really is."

It is understood there will also be a minute’s silence before tonight’s game in memory of the victims.

Tonight’s gesture comes as Derry and the north west still tries to come to terms with the tragedy. Huge crowds joined, Louise James – partner of Sean McGrotty, mother of Mark and Evan and daughter and sister of Ruth and Jodie-Lee – for Thursday’s funeral.

There were poignant scenes as Ms James helped carry her son’s white coffin followed by the four coffins of the rest of the family into Derry’s Holy Family church.

Crowds also lined the route from the church to Derry city cemetery where the victims were buried following Thursday’s funeral service.

Prayers are expected to be said for the five victims at churches all over Derry and Donegal this weekend.

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