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Memorial service to mark first anniversary of Creeslough disaster

The first anniversary of the Creeslough explosion will be marked by a memorial service and commemoration followed by private Mass in the Donegal village.

The Mass will be held at St Michael’s Church, where so many of the victims’ funerals were held.

Only those who lost loved ones, emergency workers, and members of the communities affected by the tragedy are involved.

Members of the media have, according to a statement released by parish priest Fr John Joe Duffy, been asked to stay away from the Mass.

Fr Duffy’s statement read: “A first-year anniversary memorial service and commemoration for those who lost their lives in the tragedy in Creeslough will take place at 3pm on Saturday the 7th October at the site of the tragedy.

“Mass will be offered at 7.30pm Vigil Mass on Saturday night, the 7th October 2023, to commemorate those who died in the tragedy, for those who were injured, and in thanksgiving for all who responded to the tragedy.

“The families are asking that this be a time for them, the communities involved, and for those who responded privately to gather to pray and remember their loved ones.

“They are requesting that the media give them the space to do this.” 

Gardaí, Donegal County Council, and parking stewards will assist on the day.

The N56 Road through Creeslough village will be closed on Saturday, October 7, from 2.30pm to 4pm.

Diversions will be in place.

Ten people died following the explosion in a flat above the Nearby Supermarket at the village's Applegreen Service Station on October 7, 2022.

Jessica Gallagher, Robert Garwe, his daughter Shauna Flanagan Garwe, Leona Harper, Hugh Kelly, Martina Martin, Martin McGill, Catherine O'Donnell, her son James Monaghan, and James O'Flaherty all died in the blast.

Gardaí completed their forensic examination at the scene of the explosion last November.

When asked for an update on the investigation by the Irish Examiner, a Garda spokesperson said: “As this is an ongoing investigation, An Garda Síochána has no comment at this time.”