Northern Ireland

Creeslough community honoured in Dublin for courage following explosion tragedy

Tributes laid in Creeslough to the 10 victims of last year's explosion.
Tributes laid in Creeslough to the 10 victims of last year's explosion.

THE community in Creeslough have received a special musical honour at an awards event recognising their courage following the explosion tragedy in the Co Donegal village that left 10 people dead.

Residents of the village jointly received the Donegal Person of the Year Award 2022 at a gala event hosted by the Donegal Association in Dublin.

The annual event recognizes individuals who have proudly represented the county, with previous awardees including singer Daniel O'Donnell, but the gathering on Saturday at Dublin's Bonnington Hotel saw the title presented to all residents of Creeslough for coming together in the wake of the explosion last October.

Ten people, including a father and his five-year-old daughter were killed when the blast ripped through Creeslough's Applegreen service station and destroyed an adjoining apartment block.

Gardaí are continuing to investigate the cause of the blast, with a line of inquiry that it was linked to a possible gas leak.

At Saturday's event, president of the Donegal Association Dublin, Elaine Caffrey, said the award for the community this year took the form of a piece of music composed by Co Donegal fiddle player Matt McGranaghan.

"We felt that this year, a fitting presentation may not be a trophy or a plaque as would normally be the case, but a piece of everlasting culture and heritage,” she said.

Mr McGranaghan performed the piece, titled Olldáimh, with backing from Letterkenny pianist Denise Roper.

Association chair Kevin McFadden told attendees the Creeslough community pulling together in the wake of the tragedy "made me extremely proud to be from Donegal".

“That is why we are here, for us to let you know that the pride we felt witnessing your strength, courage, kindness, for neighbours, friends and strangers in the days that followed was humbling and inspiring," he said.