Donegal blast: Well-wishers raise £140,000 for victims of petrol station blast that killed 10

All 10 dead victims of the explosion at a gas station in Ireland have been named, including a five-year-old girl and two teenagers.

The Applegreen service station in Creeslough, Co Donegal, collapsed in a “tragic accident” on Friday, said police, who are still investigating the fatal blast.

On Sunday, police identified the victims as; James O Flaherty, 48; Jessica Gallagher, 24; Martin McGill, 49; Catherine O Donnell, 39, and her son James Monaghan, 13. Hugh Kelly, 59; Martina Martin, 49; Robert Garwe, 50 and his daughter Shauna Flanagan Garwe, five. Leona Harper, 14.

Shauna Flanagan Garwe was just five years old and the youngest victim of the explosion


Leona Harper, 14, was a local rugby player


Shauna, who is said to have just started school, had reportedly gone to the store with her father to buy a birthday cake for her mother when they were both killed.

A man in his 20s remains in a critical condition at St James’s Hospital in Dublin. A further seven injured survivors continue to receive treatment at University Hospital Letterkenny and remain in a stable condition.

It comes as more than £140,000 worth of donations have been made to disaster victims.

Gerard McFadden – who lives in Australia but is originally from Creeslough – set up a GoFundMe fundraiser for the victims and their relatives. At the time of writing, the amount raised exceeded €160,000.

Catherine O’Donnell, 39, and her 13-year-old son James Monaghan were both killed


Jessica Gallagher, 24, also died in the blast


“I would like to raise as much funds as possible to help the families of the dead and injured in these difficult times ahead,” he wrote. “Thoughts and prayers are with the families and the entire community.”

From Monday, people can donate to the Creeslough Community Support Fund at almost 1,000 post offices in Ireland, Ireland’s postal service An Post announced.

Robert Garwe, 50, was Shauna’s father


Martina Martin has been identified as one of the 10 dead


The funds will be channeled through the Irish Red Cross to help those killed, injured or left homeless by the blast, it said.

The company said in a statement: “The board, management and staff of An Post across Ireland send their deepest sympathies, thoughts and prayers to all those who lost loved ones in the Cresslough tragedy, to those injured, at Postmistress and Post. The office staff and the whole community of Creeslough.


“An Post will be accepting donations for a special Creeslough Community Support Fund at all of its 920 Post Offices across the country from this Monday, October 10.

“All cash or debit card donations will be channeled through the Irish Red Cross to provide practical support and services to all those who have lost their lives, been injured or left homeless by Friday’s tragedy. There will be no charge for making donations.

“An Post and the Irish Red Cross will work with state service providers and local groups to ensure that support is available to everyone who needs it in the coming weeks and months.”



The entire nation is in mourning and is “deeply saddened” by the tragedy, said Taoiseach Micheal Martin, who visited the site of the explosion on Saturday night.

Mr Martin thanked the emergency services for their “outstanding” work.

He added: “It’s a very close-knit community and our hearts go out to them.”

Emergency services have been at the scene of the disaster since Friday


Sinn Féin president Mary Lou Macdonald and deputy party leader Michelle O’Neill also visited Chrislaw on Saturday night, as did Deputy Prime Minister Leo Varadkar.

Bishop of Raphoe Alan McGuckian said the people of Creeslough were “living a nightmare of shock and horror”.

Addressing his congregation on Sunday, he said: “Over the last couple of days, as people have gathered in groups to talk about what happened here these last few days, the one word that stands out for me in relation to the explosion is something he said someone.

The tragedy is said to have devastated the “close-knit” community

(AFP via Getty Images)

“It’s so random, they said. And what he was referring to was that anyone could have been involved in it. There is something profoundly shocking and upsetting about what vomits in life.

“We ask why did it have to happen here, to this person, to that person, why did they have to be there at that awful time?

“The bereaved and the wounded must bear the terrible insecurity of this question. Others of us could easily carry a certain guilt.

“Why was it they and not me who was struck by the randomness of this tragedy? There is basically a terrible realization that we are not masters of our destiny.

“We are very fragile, all of us, fragile and vulnerable.”

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