Sorrow hangs heavy as Creeslough struggles to come to terms with tragedy a month on

Sorrow hangs heavy as Creeslough is shrouded in sadness following the devastating petrol station blast just over a month ago.

However, the community has come together, drawing on each others strengths - and with little steps is helping each other cope with the devastating grief.

St Michael's Chapel, where so many of the funerals were held, has become a place for reflection.

This week the bereaved families of the 10 victims hold month's mind masses, services of remembrance for their loved ones.

"You can feel almost tangibly the sadness and the grief of course first of all," says Father John Joe Duffy, parish priest of St Michael's and the man who oversaw many of the funerals in the days after the tragedy.

"That grief that is most profound within the families and loved ones that have lost loved ones."

The blast happened in an instant and left Creeslough changed forever.

"It's just something that I never thought I would ever meet in my life" says Fr Duffy, who spoke of the toll the tragedy has taken on him.

"I have gone myself for counselling, and I've encouraged others to go for counselling.

"I'm glad that the HSE [Health and Safety Executive] have given a commitment that counselling services will be available here in the months and years ahead because it is going to be a long road."

The site of the explosion is still sealed off a month on, and the road past it to the village is still closed.

Gardaí are treating the incident as a tragic accident, and suspect a gas leak was the cause of the blast.

But the investigation into how it happened is extensive, meticulous and painstaking.

Creeslough is trying to get back on it's feet after the shock of the tragedy. A temporary shop is under construction to replace the shop destroyed in the tragedy.

It will be run by the same family who owned the filling station where the explosion took place.

It is hoped that the new shop will be a place where locals can get back to doing their daily business, a return of normality.

But the healing process for Creeslough has only just begun "in tiny steps" according to Fr Duffy.

"We will walk it together, and walk it together until everyone is, please god, at a stage where we will all learn to cope with the terrible and awful tragedy that happened at the very heart, the very hub, of our community."

In the small village work has begun on a replacement shop to try and bring some form of routine back to the village.

Fr Duffy sees the people of Creeslough's support for one another as key to this journey.

"We are walking together. We are drawing on each other's strengths, each other's resources.

"We have a long walk ahead of us. We will have a lot of very steep hills to climb."

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