Northern Ireland

Creeslough's journey from tragedy continues with new store

Ten people lost their lives in the explosion at Creeslough Applegreen on October 7
Ten people lost their lives in the explosion at Creeslough Applegreen on October 7

CREESLOUGH has marked another step on its journey back from tragedy with the opening of a new shop in the village following last month’s explosion.

Ten people, including two teenagers and a young girl, lost their lives in the explosion on October 7 at the Applegreen shopping and apartment complex - the village’s only shop.

In a poignant development yesterday, the Lafferty family who ran the complex opened a new shop beside St Michael’s Church in the village.

Following the tragedy, local people found themselves having to travel to adjacent villages to buy basic necessities. A temporary store was opened in a container in the days after the explosion.

However, the Lafferty family hope the new shop will meet the community’s wider needs.

It came as the Irish government announced that an emergency fund established to help the community is to be extended to businesses impacted by the tragedy.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, whose department is overseeing the fund, confirmed that grant aid would be offered to local businesses by way of an emergency humanitarian support scheme.

Distributed through the Irish Red Cross, grants ranging from €5,000 to €20,000 are being made available to small businesses, voluntary organisations and sports clubs.

The grant scheme was originally established to help businesses, which could not access insurance, cover the cost of repair damage, Mr Varadkar said.

"Extending this scheme on an exceptional basis will go some way to help businesses and community and voluntary organisations based in Creeslough to get back on their feet after the tragic event there last month," he said.

In a visit to Derry this week, Northern Ireland Office minister of state Steve Baker signed a book of condolence which was opened at the city’s Guildhall in honour of the 10 people who died in the Creeslough explosion.

Mr Baker met Derry mayor Sandra Duffy during the brief visit.