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Belfast Live
Belfast Live
Shaun Keenan

Fundraising page for tragic Derry drowning victims set up as community rallies to support families

Communities from across Derry have rallied together to raise money for the victims of the Enagh Lough tragedy.

Teenagers Reuven Simon and Joseph Sebastian died after getting into difficulty at the Co Derry lough on Monday (August 29) as they enjoyed the final hours of their summer holidays.

The best friends, who were both from the Kerala Community in the city, had been swimming in the area before the tragedy struck.

Read more: Derry community remembers the boys who were "always smiling" after Lough Enagh tragedy

In an effort to help the families of the victims, the people of Derry and beyond have come together to show their support and raise money on a JustGiving page - which at the time of writing was close to £10,000.

A post on the page said: "Due to the tragedy in Enagh Lough yesterday 29th August 2022. The people of Derry have been left devastated for those who have died suddenly. [We have] come together to organise this page to help the families who have been left devastated with this news."

Meanwhile, Requiem Mass for both teenagers will take place this Friday, September 2, at 11am in St Mary’s Church in Ardmore. Wake will be held on Wednesday, August 31 and Thursday, September 1 from 2pm - 7pm in St Columb’s Parish Hall, Chapel Road.

A candlelight vigil will also be held on Thursday, September 1 in the Strathfoyle area, close to Enagh Lough, to show their support in what has been described as "an unbelievably dark and difficult time".

Reuven Simon and Joseph Sebastian (handout)

Mark H Durkan, who is a local resident and MLA, said the whole city was in mourning following the death of two teenagers on Monday evening.

He said: “Our entire city is in a deep sense of shock and mourning following the news that Reuven Simon and Joseph Sebastian lost their lives while swimming in Enagh Lough on Monday evening.

"The loss of two young lives in such tragic circumstances is utterly heartbreaking and I know I speak for everyone in Derry when I say that our thoughts and condolences are with the families affected.

“Our thoughts are also with the teenager currently recovering in hospital and the other young people who were present on Sunday evening when this incident occurred.

"I spoke to some of them at the scene and it was clear to see they were distraught with what took place. This is the first incident of its kind at Enagh Lough in many decades and is a stark reminder of the need to take care around water.

“The families of the young boys who lost their lives are well known and respected in our city and I’m sure that the people of Derry will rally around them and support them in any way we can, as we do anytime this area is touched by tragedy. I hope the outpouring of support will provide them with some comfort in the difficult time ahead.

"I have had a very close relationship with the Kerala community in Derry for over 15 years and have known Reuven and Joseph since they were babies. It is impossible to convey the devastation that has been visited upon this hard-working and humble community in the wake of this tragedy."


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