Mother sues Donegal council over Buncrana pier tragedy

Louise James, the woman who lost her partner and four members of her family in the Buncrana pier tragedy in March 2016, has launched a legal action seeking damages from Donegal County Council. 

Louise James

Ms James, in a civil suit, has filed a personal injury action, naming the council as a defendant.

Sean McGrotty, 49, died alongside his sons Mark, 12, and Evan, 8, his mother-in-law Ruth Daniels, 59, and Ruth’s daughter Jodie Lee Daniels, 14, when his vehicle slid on “treacherous” algae and slipped into the sea in Buncrana.

The couple’s baby, Rioghnach-Ann, was the sole survivor of the tragedy when she was rescued by passer-by Davitt Walsh.

Last week an inquest heard that the five people died by “misadventure”.

A jury heard that Mr McGrotty’s blood-alcohol level was more than three times the drink-drive limit.

According to court records, Ms James filed her suit last June, but it was postponed until the result of the inquest had been finalised.

In a statement read out on behalf of Ms James at the inquest, she described Mr McGrotty as a “wonderful partner” and an “adoring father”.


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