Irish president Higgins attending funeral for Creeslough blast victim

The funeral service for James O’Flaherty, 48, is being held at St Mary’s Church in Derrybeg, Co Donegal.

12 October 2022

Irish president Michael D Higgins is attending the latest funeral for a victim of the Creeslough service station explosion.

The funeral service for James O’Flaherty, 48, is under way at St Mary’s Church in Derrybeg, Co Donegal.

Explosion at Donegal service station
James O’Flaherty, one of the 10 victims of the explosion at Applegreen service station in the village of Creeslough in Co Donegal (An Garda Siochana/PA)

Mr O’Flaherty was originally from Sydney in Australia but had been living in Dunfanaghy, just miles from Creeslough, with his wife and son.

Ten people were killed in Friday’s explosion.

State authorities in Ireland continue to investigate the cause of the explosion in a building complex which included the service station, a shop and apartments.

It is being treated as a “tragic accident”.

A gas leak is one theory, it is believed.

Two of the 10 victims – Jessica Gallagher and Martin McGill – were laid to rest after funeral masses in Creeslough on Tuesday.

The 10 victims were aged from five to 59.

Queen Elizabeth II death
President of Ireland Michael D Higgins is attending a funeral for one of the victims of the Creeslough disaster (PA)

The other 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; 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.

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

Ms Harper’s funeral will take place at St Mary’s Church in Ramelton, Co Donegal, on Thursday.

Mrs Martin, a mother of four, will also be laid to rest on Thursday with a service at St Michael’s.

Mr Kelly will be laid to rest at St Michael’s on Friday morning.

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