McConalogue pledges continued supports for Creeslough while leading tributes a month on from catastrophe
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"Ten people, going about their daily routine had their lives cut short in an event that spread across the world. The lives of young Shauna Flanagan Garwe and her dad Robert Garwe; Catherine O'Donnell and her son James Monaghan; Leona Harper; Jessica Gallagher; James O'Flaherty; Martin McGill; Martina Martin and Hugh Kelly were lost and we mourn them.”
The Donegal T.D., who led tributes in the absence of Taoiseach Micheál Martin, who is in Egypt for the Sharm el-Sheikh climate conference, referred to how the disaster had reverberated around the world.
"Donegal people stretch far beyond the 4,800 square kilometres and our 166,000 inhabitants. The Donegal people and our diaspora spread to the four corners of the globe.
"What links the people of Donegal, who are in the county and those who are acting as ambassadors for out great county across the world is our sense of community, our compassion and our togetherness.
“This is especially the case in the tightknit community of Creeslough. It is a village known across the country for its warmth and hospitality, for its kindness and its sincerity. What a terrible shadow has been cast across our county. We have seen the best of Donegal people in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy and since.”
Deputy McConalogue paid tribute to all the emergency services, the local people, the volunteers, the medical teams and the clergy who have supported community in their time of need.
He also spoke of the outpouring of generosity in response to the tragedy.
“This spirit of support and volunteerism also resulted in a contribution of over 1.6m euro in two separate support funds and I know this will be a real help to those in the local area in the time ahead,” he stated.
The minister vowed that the government will continue to back the people of Creeslough for as long as it takes.
"Through my colleague Heather Humphreys we are extending the humanitarian assistance scheme to households damaged by the explosion.
"The funds will provide financial support to people who have suffered damage to their home and property. The Health Service Executive (HSE) is providing counselling to those who need it.
"The impacts of this awful accident may only start to affect people from now on. So I urge anyone who needs to talk to someone to reach out and do so,” said the Inishowen-native.
In conclusion, the minister stated: “One month on Donegal still mourns for the people of Creeslough, one year on Donegal will mourn for the people of Creeslough. Donegal, will always remember the people, the community and the togetherness of Creeslough.
"A shadow may have been cast but the sun will rise again. We will all stand by the people of Creeslough and never forget those ten who died simply going about their daily lives or their loved ones whose lives have been so unalterably changed as a result. Ní neart go cur le chéile.”