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Derry woman Louise McGrotty to run Belfast marathon with Buncrana pier hero who saved her baby daughter

Mr McGrotty (left) died in the accident, along with his two sons (pictured). Louise McGrotty (top right) with her baby daughter, who survived the tragedy. Photo:

THE Derry woman who lost five members of her family in the Buncrana pier tragedy will run part of the Belfast marathon alongside the man who saved her baby girl from drowning.

Louise McGrotty lost her partner Sean McGrotty, mother Ruth Daniels, sister Jodie-Lee, 14, and sons Evan, 8, and Mark, 12, when their car slipped from the Donegal pier into the water at around 7.30pm on Sunday, March 20.

Davitt Walsh rescued baby Rioghnach-Ann – the only survivor – when he jumped into the water after the car plunged off the pier.

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He will join Ms McGrotty and around 100 others at the marathon on May 2 to raise money for the charity that helped her son Evan.

They are raising awareness of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a condition that Evan was being treated for prior to his death.

Their aim is to raise £3,000 for the Minuscular Dystrophy Duchenne Research Breakthrough Fund; they are a third of the way to reaching their target.

Thomas McCallion – father of one of Evan’s best friends – is organising the group’s participation in the event.

Speaking to Belfast Live he said: “It’s just been incredible, the support we’re getting. I spoke to Louise and it was her who asked me to do it for Muscular Dystyrophy UK. But she’s going to run it as well, as is Davitt Walsh, and I’ve organised it so Louise and Davitt and other family members who are taking part will be doing the final leg of their relays.

“It’s going to be such an emotional day, but I just hope something positive comes out of it in that the profile of Muscular Dystrophy is raised as well as some money for research into the condition.

“Louise and the charity have been great in helping getting this organised. It’s been a very tough time for Derry, but you can see that they’ve come together for this, people from Derry and from Donegal all wanting to get involved.”

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