Search icon


13th Sep 2016

Buncrana hero promises to teach rescued baby to swim

Megan Roantree

“I want her to be a part of my life.”

It’s been 6 months since the tragic pier accident in which Sean McGrotty, 49, his young sons Mark, 12, and Evan, 8, his 59-year-old mother-in-law Ruth Daniels and sister-in-law Jodi Lee Daniels, aged 14 all lost their lives.

Davitt Walsh was hailed a hero after he swam out to rescue four- month-old baby Rionghac-Ann, whose father handed her over to him.

Davitt was honoured at the Pride of Ireland awards on Monday night. Speaking about the award, he said it was a bit of a shock.

“In all honesty I don’t feel like a hero at all. I only wished at the time I could have done more.” He said, according to the Mirror.

Speaking about the baby girl whose live he saved, Davitt said:

“Rioghnach-Ann is going to be there for ever.”

“She’s going to be part of my life and I want her to be part of my life. That’s what I hope.”

So much so that he hopes to teach her about water safety.

“One thing I definitely want to do is take her swimming – make sure she knows how to swim.

“I’ll wait until she’s three, four or five but that will fly in.”

Davitt spoke about the important bond the two now have after the tragic night in March.

“There is a special connection there that won’t be broken.

“I want to be part of Rioghnach-Ann’s life and I want to see her growing up.

“I’ve already had a charity event that raised €7,200 and that’s just the start
of it. I want to have an education fund put aside for when she turns 18 or 20. Hopefully, we’ll raise up to £20,000 and that will be her future after finishing school to make sure she is looked after.

“I want to be part of Louise’s life as well but at the moment emotions are running high on both sides
and she’s trying to get over what happened, and I’m the same.”

We couldn’t think of a more deserving person to be honoured at the Pride of Ireland Awards.