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Former League of Ireland footballer praised after saving baby in Donegal tragedy

Davitt Walsh was taken to hospital after rescuing the four-month old baby girl.

 Davitt Walsh.
Davitt Walsh.

A FORMER LEAGUE of Ireland striker has been praised as a hero after saving the life of a four-month old baby girl in a water tragedy which claimed the lives of five people in Donegal.

Davitt Walsh, who currently plays for Ulster Senior League club Fanad United, responded after witnessing a vehicle enter the water of Lough Swilly in the town of Buncrana.

The individuals who lost their lives have been named as Sean McGrotty, his sons Mark and Evan, his mother-in-law Ruth Daniels and her daughter Jodie Lee. They were from the Derry area.

“When we arrived at the scene, there had been a person on the pier who stripped down and entered the water and took hold of the infant,” eye-witness Francis Crawford told Newstalk.

“His quick actions definitely saved that child’s life. He headed out and came back with a wee baby, he got back in and shouted: ‘Take the baby! Take the baby!’ He could barely stand.

“He did the greatest work and had no thought for himself.”

The 29-year-old was taken to hospital after rescuing Rionaghac-Ann, where he was treated for shock and cuts on his feet.

Walsh previously played for Finn Harps, Bohemians, Shelbourne, Ballymena United and Lisburn Distillery.

Ruth and Jodie Lee Daniels were the mother and sister of Derry City midfielder Josh Daniels and club chairman Philip O’Doherty released a statement in support of the player.

“On behalf of the board of directors, the manager, the staff and the players of Derry City I want to express our shock and sadness at the tragedy that happened in Buncrana on Sunday night,” said O’Doherty.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the Daniels and McGrotty families in this most painful time. Our thoughts are especially with our colleague and team mate Josh Daniels who has been with this club since he was a boy.

“We are conscious of the depth of his loss. Inadequate as it is, everyone at the club wants to assure him that they will be with him in the coming days and, more importantly, in the weeks and months that lie ahead.”

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