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Emotional goal for Josh Daniels after Buncrana tragedy wake

Derry City's Joshua Daniels celebrates his goal against Finn Harps at the Brandywell on Tuesday night. Picture Margaret McLaughlin
Seamus McKinney

THERE were emotional scenes at Derry’s Brandywell stadium as Josh Daniels scored his first ever goal for the club - just weeks after members of his family were killed in the Buncrana pier drowning tragedy.

The Derry player came on as a substitute during the club’s derby against Finn Harps on Tuesday night and netted City’s first goal.

The game ended in a 2-2 draw but will be remembered for the brave 20-year-old's goal less than two months after losing his mum, sister, brother-in-law and two nephews in the tragedy in March.

Ruth Daniels (57), Jodie-Lee (14) and Sean McGrotty and his sons Mark (12) and Evan (8) all perished when Mr McGrotty’s car slid of Buncrana pier into Lough Swilly.

Only four-month-old Rioghnach-Ann survived the tragedy after her father passed the little girl out to Davitt Walsh who had swam out to the stricken car to help.

The significance of Josh’s goal, who was brought on in the 78th minute scoring just minutes later, was immediately grasped by all fans at the Brandywell stadium. Both Finn Harps and Derry fans joined in applause as the young Derry man celebrated his goal.

Following the game Derry manager Kenny Shiels said he was delighted for his young player.

Shiels said the Daniels’ family were great supporters of the club and regularly attended games. He had no doubt Josh’s thoughts had turned to his mum, sister, nephews and to Sean McGrotty following his goal.

“His mother is watching in Heaven,” the club manager said.

Club team mate, Aaron McEneff said everyone at Derry City was delighted for Josh, particularly after all he had suffered.

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