Creeslough development plan would ‘retraumatise’ many – expert warns


AWARD-WINNING Donegal psychotherapist Liam Cannon has lodged an objection with Donegal County Council concerning a proposal to redevelop the October 2022 Creeslough tragedy site, claiming he feels compelled to do so.

So far, there have been 15 separate planning objections lodged with Donegal County Council relating to plans to rebuild commercial premises on the site where ten people lost their lives in an explosion on October 7, 2022.


Mr Cannon’s objection papers state, “Since the Creeslough tragedy, I have encountered first hand many victims of this awful day. The deep losses and grief experienced by those who lost family members is palpable.”

The psychotherapist, who has been practicising in Donegal for the past 20 years, says for those who were not directly impacted by loss, the very scenes on that day will never leave their minds.

“In fact, it is true to say that the entire community of Creeslough, and well beyond, was traumatised and this will remain for many years and generations,” according to Mr Cannon.

The Letterkenny-based counsellor says his main reason behind the objection relates to the importance of understanding trauma and re-traumatisation. He insists that there will be consequences if the site, where 10 people lost their lives, is not preserved.

“Persons suffering from Post-traumatic Injury can be easily retriggered over and over again throughout their lifetime. It is our responsibility to ensure that we do not cause further stimulation of trauma to those affected,” said Mr Cannon.

The expert suggests it’s well-documented that part of the healing process requires those most impacted to have a place to visit so that they can “reconnect and experience the presence of the loved one they lost.”

Aside from objecting to a new commercial development, Mr Cannon goes a step further, stating, “We all have moral, ethical and environmental obligations in ensuring that this site is handed over to the families.”


The psychotherapist also raises the prospect of Donegal County Council being sued for re-traumatisation, claiming, “Through our legal system, a medical report of Post Traumatic Injury is a recognised fact in deciding many legal cases and comes with heavy compensation.”

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