One month on from Creeslough tragedy

TODAY marks one month since the explosion at the Applegreen Service Station in Creeslough that claimed the lives of ten people.
Eight others were injured and one young man remains in hospital in Dublin.

Those who lost their lives in the tragedy were Jessica Gallagher, Robert Garwe, Shauna Flanagan Garwe, Leona Harper, Hugh Kelly, Martina Martin, Martin McGill, James Monaghan, Catherine O’Donnell and James O’Flaherty.

Speaking to the Donegal News, local GP Dr Paul Stewart said initially the tragedy seemed unreal.


“Then we had the wakes, then the funerals but with all that we had lots of support,” he said.

Doctor Stewart, a first responder at the scene recalled the tragedy.

“On that day, one month ago, I arrived in Creeslough around one hour after the explosion happened. I was working in the surgery in Dunfanaghy.

“I heard something happened in Creeslough but when I arrived I was quite shocked. I grew up in Belfast during the troubles and it just reminded me of a bomb.
“We waited and waited. There was local people moving rubble with their bare hands. I was on the medical side of things. The immediate response was brilliant, local contractors got involved to help and it was all very well organised,” he said.

Throughout the month numerous counselling services have been put in place for the community of Creeslough.

A counselling service set up to support people affected by the explosion has been accessed nearly 200 times, the Irish Health Service has said.

Dr Stewart said quite a lot of people have availed of the numerous counselling services available.
“A walk-in counselling service that was made available deals with around 30 people per week and an in-house counselling service are seeing quite a few people.


“A surge in these services is expected around Christmas so at the moment group therapy sessions are being set up locally,” he said.

Details of the month’s minds for some of the victims of the tragedy have been announced.

The month’s mind mass for Martina Martin will take place this evening in St Michael’s Church, Creeslough at 7.30pm.
A month’s mind for Catherine O’Donnell and her son James Monaghan will take place at 7.30pm on Friday. Jessica Gallagher’s month’s mind will take place on Saturday in the church at 6pm while Hugh Kelly’s month’s mind will take place on Saturday at 9am.


Donegal diaspora will also be holding a month’s mind in Glasgow.
The month’s mind requiem mass will take place in Blessed John Duns Scotus in the Gorbals at 7pm this evening.
The mass will be celebrated by Father John J Carrol and Carl Ó Dochartaigh the musical director of the All Ireland Champions and Maghery Drum and Pipe Band will direct the music.

Meanwhile, Creeslough Supermarket took to their Facebook page to assure everyone they are working to get the much needed services and essentials back into the community.
“We hope to have a store opened for you in the next few weeks,” a spokesperson said.

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