By Frank Craig
Packie Bonner has paid tribute to the ten people who died following the explosion at an Applegreen service station in Creeslough last Friday afternoon.
Speaking on Wednesday morning, the Republic of Ireland and Glasgow Celtic legend said he still can’t fully comprehend that such a devastating tragedy has visited Donegal’s doorstep.
Scottish giants Celtic – who have deep and long-standing connections with Donegal – have already pledged £10,000 towards those impacted by the tragedy.
The Bhoys wore black armbands during their 2-0 Champions League loss to RB Leipzig on Tuesday night and, prior to kick-off, also observed an impeccable minute’s silence in memory of those who passed away.
“We are all numb and shocked by what’s happened,” said Bonner. “Of course, we know the place so well. I can’t even begin to imagine how those people are feeling or what they are going through.
“Everywhere I go this week, the people I speak to, they are all offering sympathies. They cannot believe something like this has happened in a small Donegal village. I was in London on Tuesday and by complete chance, I bumped into another Donegal man.
“The events in Creeslough was the only topic of conversation. All we can do now is offer up our prayers and give any support we can.”
Tributes to those affected have continued to be paid with the likes of Liverpool FC also offering their condolences to the family of Leona Harper. 14-year-old Leona was one of the people killed in the horrific explosion and she was a huge Reds supporter.
Bonner added: “When you see the pictures up and you see Celtic and Liverpool shirts on some of the people that lost their lives, I just hope it’s of some comfort to their families and friends to know that they are in those clubs and players’ thoughts.
“I know Martin McGill was a huge Celtic supporter as well. The news would have touched the very heart of the club. But that’s Celtic all over – they are a class act. And I’m very proud in that sense, that they have reached out to the families and attempted to offer some comfort.”
He continued: “Regardless if it’s soccer, GAA rugby or whatever, local sports clubs are the absolute fabric of the local community. Because they are made up of community people. And they rally round. Those efforts will be a huge help at this moment and in the weeks and months ahead.
“Again, our prayers are with the families that have lost loved ones and with those still in hospital battling severe injury. If there is anything I can do moving forward, I’ll do my absolute best.”
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