Creeslough prepares for first anniversary of terrible tragedy on 7th October

Creeslough prepares for first anniversary of terrible tragedy on 7th October

On Saturday, October 7 2022, the Donegal community of Creeslough was devastated by a blast that killed ten people – three of them children,

On Saturday 7th October 2023, the Donegal community will welcome friends, families and support from across the country into their midst once more as they honour the ten victims of an explosion at flats above a busy forecourt.

An anniversary memorial mass and commemoration will be held at 3pm at the site of the explosion.

It will be followed  later that evening with a Vigil Mass at 7.30pm to honour those who died in the tragedy, those who were injured and those who responded with help and support on the day and in the weeks and months since

Little Shauna Flanagan Garwe was the youngest of the people who died and was with her father Robert when the explosion happened. Her father, Robert, known in the village as Bob, had taken his daughter to the shop to buy her mum a birthday cake and treats.

Catherine and thirteen year old James Monaghan were in the queue for the post office inside the shop when the explosion happened. They had gone there after James had finished school for the day.

Also, Leona Harper had been due to go to a birthday party that day but instead, she decided to go to Creeslough for a sleepover with a friend. She was choosing an ice cream in the shop when the explosion happened.

Fashion graduate Jessica Gallagher, who had studied in Paris and Shanghai and had been due to start her career as a designer in Belfast days after she was killed. She had been visiting her boyfriend in his apartment above the petrol station when the explosion happened.

James ‘Flaherty, originally from Sydney, Australia. James was married to Tracey and had a son, Hamish. He had been living in Dunfanaghy, a village about 10 minutes drive from Creeslough. Mourners travelled from across the globe to pay tribute to their friend.

Martin Magill was caught in the explosion after he walked from his car to buy a pizza. A carer for his elderly mum, he regularly visited the village pharmacy to collect medication for her.

Mum of four Martina Martin was working in the shop at the petrol station at the time of the explosion. She was repeatedly described in the days after her death as ‘a friend to all’.

Hugh Kelly, or Hughie as most knew him, was a local farmer on a simple errand to the shop when he lost his life.

Large numbers are expected to attend the services and Donegal County Council will be working with stewards and the Gardai on the day. The N56 road through Creeslough village is expected to close from 2.30pm to 4pm with signposted diversions in place.

It was a sad day that shocked the forecourt retailing community across Ireland. IF&CR offers condolences to all affected by the saddest day for the sector, the community of Cresslough and all of Donegal.