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First funerals of Creeslough explosion victims to take place

Funeral services for Jessica Gallagher and Martin McGill will be held at St Michael’s church.

10 October 2022

The first of the funerals of the victims of the service station explosion in Co Donegal will take place later.

Ten people, aged from five to 59, were killed in the tragedy in the village of Creeslough on Friday.

Separate funeral services for fashion designer Jessica Gallagher, 24, and Martin McGill, 49, who was originally from Scotland, will be held at St Michael’s church in Creeslough on Tuesday.

Explosion at Donegal service station
The victims of the explosion (An Garda Siochana/PA)

The tight-knit community has been described as “full of grief”.

Father John Joe Duffy said the outpouring of support for Creeslough is “like a tidal wave lifting us and trying to float us out of the tsunami of grief”.

“We appreciate that so very much,” he added.

Candle-lit vigils took place across Donegal and in Londonderry on Monday.

Books of condolence have also been opened in towns and cities across Ireland.

On Monday, the King extended his condolences to the people of Ireland following the “appallingly tragic” explosion.

In a message to the President of Ireland Michael D Higgins, Charles said his and the Queen Consort’s sympathies are with those who have lost loved ones.

Explosion at Donegal service station
The scene of the explosion at Applegreen service station (Liam McBurney/PA)

Pope Francis also expressed his condolences.

On the same day the leader of the Catholic Church in Ireland, Archbishop Eamon Martin, visited Creeslough.

He said he was “stunned by the tragic and horrific” explosion.

Explosion at Donegal service station
Sinn Fein MLA Michelle O’Neill signs a book of condolence at Parliament Buildings, Stormont (David Young/PA)

The other eight victims were 50-year-old Robert Garwe and his five-year-old daughter Shauna Flanagan Garwe, who were in the shop to buy a birthday cake; 48-year-old James O’Flaherty; 14-year-old Leona Harper; 39-year-old Catherine O’Donnell and her 13-year-old son James Monaghan; 59-year-old Hugh Kelly; and 49-year-old Martina Martin.

Mr O’Flaherty’s funeral will be in St Mary’s Church in Derrybeg on Wednesday morning.

A joint service will be held for Ms O’Donnell and her son James at St Michael’s in Creeslough on Wednesday afternoon.

A funeral for Ms Harper is to take place at St Mary’s Church, Ramelton on Thursday.

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