Funeral to be held for five-year-old and father killed in Creeslough blast

Shauna Flanagan Garwe
Shauna Flanagan Garwe Credit: PA Media

The final funeral for victims of the Creeslough service station explosion is set to take place.

The funeral service for the youngest of the 10 victims of the blast, five-year-old Shauna Flanagan Garwe, and her father Robert Garwe is to be held in St Michael’s Church on Saturday morning.

Residents of the rural Co Donegal village will line its main street once again for the sixth funeral service held at St Michael’s Church for victims of the tragedy in five days.

Mourners at the funeral on Friday of the oldest victim of the blast, Hugh Kelly, heard he had brought Mr Garwe and his daughter Shauna to the service station shop to buy a birthday cake for her mother.

Robert Garwe, 50, died alongside his daughter Credit: handout/PA

Mr Garwe, 50, who was originally from Zimbabwe, worked in construction and could often be seen travelling around the village on his scooter.

Shauna started at Scoil Mhuire national school in Creeslough just weeks ago.

The funerals of fashion student Jessica Gallagher, 24, and Celtic supporter Martin McGill, 49, were held in Creeslough on Tuesday, while a funeral Mass for Catherine O’Donnell, 39, and her 13-year-old son James Monaghan took place on Wednesday afternoon.

A service for Sydney native James O’Flaherty, 48, was held on Wednesday in Derrybeg.

The funeral of shop worker and mother-of-four Martina Martin, 49, took place in Creeslough on Thursday morning and a service for 14-year-old Leona Harper was held at St Mary’s Church in Ramelton later that day.

Parish priest Father John Joe Duffy said the community is still in shock.

The coffin of Hugh ‘Hughie’ Kelly is carried from St Michael’s Church in Creeslough on Friday Credit: Brian Lawless/PA

“There is still that pall of silence, that grieving and mourning, that heartbreak visible to others who enter into the homes to try and offer consolation and comfort,” he said.

He urged people affected by the tragedy to contact the counselling services made available to them – saying he himself intends to use them.

“We need help, we need the continued embrace of this country and beyond it, and prayers, and also very much so the professional supports that are being made so available to us, and thank all who are involved in that,” he said.

President of Ireland Michael D Higgins has been attending the funerals of the victims since Wednesday, and meeting with the families of those affected.

The Taoiseach’s aide-de-camp Commandant Claire Mortimer, and Agriculture Minister Charlie McConalogue, have also been attending the funerals.

Ireland’s police force An Garda Siochana continues to investigate the cause of the blast, which is being treated as an accident.

Along with the 10 people killed in the explosion, eight others were injured in the blast.

Seven have been receiving treatment in Letterkenny hospital, while one man aged in his 20s remains in a critical condition in St James’s Hospital, Dublin.