Ireland

Creeslough community to mark anniversary of deadly service station blast

The coffins of Robert Garwe and his five-year-old daughter Shauna are carried into St Michael’s Church in Creeslough (Niall Carson/PA)
The coffins of Robert Garwe and his five-year-old daughter Shauna are carried into St Michael’s Church in Creeslough (Niall Carson/PA) The coffins of Robert Garwe and his five-year-old daughter Shauna are carried into St Michael’s Church in Creeslough (Niall Carson/PA)

A ceremony is to be held in an Irish village to mark a year since 10 people died in an explosion at a service station.

Four men, three women and three young people, ranging in age from five to 59, died in the blast that took place in the Co Donegal village of Creeslough on the afternoon of Friday October 7 last year.

Robert Garwe and his five-year-old daughter Shauna Flanagan-Garwe, Catherine O’Donnell and her 13-year-old son James Monaghan, fashion student Jessica Gallagher, Celtic fan Martin McGill, Sydney native James O’Flaherty, shop worker Martina Martin, carpenter Hugh ‘Hughie’ Kelly and 14-year-old Leona Harper were killed in the explosion.

A commemoration and remembrance service will be held at 3pm on Saturday at the site of the tragedy.

Explosion at Donegal service station
Explosion at Donegal service station Gardai at the Applegreen service station in the village of Creeslough in Co Donegal (Brian Lawless/PA)

A vigil mass is also to take place at 7.30pm at St Michael’s Church to remember those who died and those who were injured, and to thank the first responders to the scene.

The rescue and recovery effort, involving members of the community and emergency services on both sides of the border, was praised and sympathies were shared from across the world in the aftermath of the explosion.

A year on, no update has been given publicly on what caused the explosion.

Explosion at Donegal service station
Explosion at Donegal service station Seven people died in the explosion at Applegreen service station (Brian Lawless/PA)

Irish police previously said the incident was being treated as a tragic accident, with a gas leak considered as one possibility.

An Garda Siochana said ahead of the anniversary that its investigation was continuing “as expeditiously as possible”.

It said that over 1,350 lines of inquiry had been actioned and more than 900 statements had been taken.

Various Garda agencies are involved in the investigation and are being assisted by the Norwegian company Det Norske Veritas, which specialises in investigating and testing energy systems.

Ahead of the anniversary date, the families of those who died requested that the media respect their privacy.