The first funerals of Creeslough explosion victims take place


The first of the funerals for 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 were originally from Scotlandwill be held at St Michael’s Church in Creeslough on Tuesday.

The close-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 up and trying to float us out of the tsunami of grief”.

“We appreciate that so much,” he added.

Candlelight 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 offered his condolences to the people of Ireland after the “shockingly tragic” blast.

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

Pope Francis also expressed his condolences.

The same day the manager of Catholic Church in Ireland Archbishop Eamon Martin visited Creeslough.

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

The other eight victims were 50-year-old Robert Garwe and his five-year-old daughter Shauna Flanagan Garwe, who were in the store 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.

Sir. O’Flaherty’s funeral will take place at St Mary’s Church in Derrybeg on Wednesday morning.

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

A funeral for Mrs Harper is due to take place at St Mary’s Church, Ramelton on Thursday. Mother-of-four Mrs Martin will also be laid to rest on Thursday with a service at St Michael’s Church, Creeslough.

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