Mother who tragically lost five family members in Buncrana tragedy runs Belfast marathon in memory of her son

Hero Davitt Walsh who rescued baby Rionaghac-Ann was among those who ran

Mother who tragically lost five family members in Buncrana tragedy runs Belfast marathon in memory of her son

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A mother who tragically lost five members of her family when their car slid off a pier, has completed the Belfast marathon along with over 100 well wishers, including the man who rescued her baby from the sinking car.

Louise James ran the race in honour of her son Evan, in an effort to raise funds for Muscular Dystrophy UK. Evan, who was just eight years old at the time of the tragic event, suffered from Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a condition which leads to increasing disability and cuts lives short.

Among those who ran for Team Evan, was Davitt Walsh, the man who heroically swam out to the sinking car to save Louise James's infant daughter Rionaghach-Ann. All of the participants wore a specially designed t-shirt featuring Evan and his older brother Mark.

After the race, Louise James paid an emotional tribute to more than 100 runners who took part in the race and said that her son Evan would be proud of them all.

"I want to thank every single person who took part to remember Evan, whether you ran the race or have put your hand in your pocket to donate. You did something remarkable in his name and to celebrate his life. I know he would be proud."

"Duchenne muscular dystrophy is a heart-breaking condition. There are hundreds of young people who live with it today. For them, we need to raise awareness of Duchenne. We need to help make sure that children and their families in the future don't face the same fears and challenges that we did."

"It means so much that people who knew Evan and my family, and many who didn't, have come together like this."

Ms James' partner Sean McGrotty, 46, died alongside Evan, her other son Mark, 12, her mother Ruth Daniels, 57, and her sister 14-year-old Jodie Lee Daniels when their SUV sank after sliding off a slipway in Buncrana, Co Donegal, in March.

Ms James, from Derry, was away with friends on the weekend of the accident.