Donegal drowning tragedy hero hopes to play a part in the life of rescued baby

The hero of the Buncrana drownings tragedy has said he is looking forward to being a part of the life of the baby he saved from the freezing sea.

Donegal drowning tragedy hero hopes to play a part in the life of rescued baby

Davitt Walsh saved the life of four-month-old Rioghnach Ann after he swam to take the baby out of the arms of her father, Sean McGrotty, on March 20.

However, Sean, his sons Mark and Evan, mother-in-law Ruth Daniels and her teenage daughter Jodie-Lee perished as their Audi Q7 car slipped beneath the waters of Lough Swilly after going in off Buncrana Pier.

In a public message on his Facebook page, the Kerrykeel man thanked all those who have given him strength in the recent days to help him cope with the aftermath of the incident.

He also paid tribute to the baby’s mum Louise, whom he described as “an exceptional woman”.

He also revealed how she has been a great comfort to him in trying to deal with the tragedy.

The 29-year-old footballer and trainee barber said: “While reflecting today on all that has happened, I would like to say that I am overwhelmed by all the messages and posts that I have received.

“It’s impossible for me to reply to everyone individually but I have read them all. It’s your kindness and sincerity that has given me great strength and enabled me to cope over these last days.

“So I would like to thank you all so much for this! Louise has been an inspiration to me and a great comfort. She is an exceptional woman.

“Rioghnach-Ann is a beautiful baby and I look forward to being a part of her life and to see her growing up.

“Sean, Mark, Evan, Ruth, and Jodie-Lee are now together in heaven. God bless, RIP.”

Mr Walsh is expected to line up alongside other golfers at a charity golf event and gala dinner being organised to help benefit Louise and also suicide charity Pieta House. The event is being organised by Mrs Brown’s Boys star Danny O’Carroll and takes place in May at the Rosapenna Golf Club and the Shandon Hotel and Spa in Dunfanaghy.

More in this section

War of Independence Podcast

A special four-part series hosted by Mick Clifford

Available on
www.irishexaminer.com/podcasts

Commemorating 100 years since the War of Independence