A former League of Ireland player has been hailed as a hero for rescuing a four-month-old baby in the tragedy at Buncrana pier.
Davitt Walsh, a former Finn Harps, Shelbourne and Bohemians player, swam out to the car and managed to rescue Rionaghac-Ann from the car.
He spoke to Tommy Gorman on the Six One on RTE News. His account of the last few minutes of the rest of the family members is harrowing. The father Sean McGrotty handed Walsh the baby and said 'save my baby'.
Six OneInterview with Davitt Walsh, who saved 4-month-old baby Rionaghac-Ann in yesterday’s tragedy in Buncrana, Co Donegal
Posted by RTÉ News on Monday, 21 March 2016
It was terrible. I was out there. I was swimming. I didn’t know how I was going to help or what was going to happen. The baby was handed to me. When it happened, the father looked at me and he had to make a decision. He could have saved himself because he was out of the car. But he went back into his family. I couldn’t do nothing else. The car went down instantly.
The younger child was trying to get out the back. The father knew – deep down – he knew I was only going to be able to save one person. The last thing he said, he handed it to me and said, ‘Save the baby’. He went back and stayed with his family and the car just disappeared.
Derry City player Joshua Daniels lost his mother Ruth and his sister Jodie-Lee in the tragic accident.
Walsh also plays for Ballymena United and Lisburn Distillery in the Irish League and currently played for Fanad United in the Ulster Senior League.
The 29 year old was treated in hospital for shock and for injuries to his feet which he picked up while exiting and entering the water.