Taoiseach leads Dáil condolences to Creeslough victims and acknowledges a ‘community bereft’
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Condoling with the families and friends of the ten victims, he said: “Ten women, men, boys and girls representing everything good, kind and beautiful about Creeslough, Donegal and our country were taken away in a tragic incident on a quiet Friday afternoon; fathers and mothers, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, each one an enormous, incalculable loss in the lives of those around them.
“This is a community bereft. A close-knit people in deep sadness and mourning, devastated by what has happened but it is also a community of great strength and resilience, pulling together to support each other through this terrible time.”
Deputy Martin said that when he visited the village at the weekend he heard stories of ‘extraordinary courage, commitment, heroism and love’ and that he had learned how local people had put themselves at risk ‘doing everything humanly possible to save the lives of their neighbours in the aftermath of the explosion’.
The Taoiseach praised the first responders and emergency services from both sides of the border as well as the doctors, clinicians, nurses, porters, support staff and everyone working at Letterkenny hospital.
He said the Creeslough community embodied the old meitheal tradition of mutual aid.
The were, he said, ‘true models of compassion, care and professionalism; of a small village community putting its arms around its bereaved and giving a powerful example to the country and the world of the true meaning of meitheal’.
The Fianna Fáil leader acknowledged the Creeslough community is now suffering an unfathomable grief.
“It is important, I think, that those struggling to make sense of the enormous and heart-breaking loss now confronting them know that the entire nation is with them in spirit.
"Words on their own cannot comfort the fathomless grief that so many will feel in the weeks and months ahead but what we can do and what I know we will do is to be there for them.
"Individually across this House and collectively as an Oireachtas and the service of the people of Ireland, we stand with the community of Creeslough and the people of Donegal at home and abroad.
"We pay tribute to the true courage and dedication of our emergency services and healthcare staff. We are reminded of the critical role that they play in our national life and we thank them for being there in our darkest moments of need.
“Déanaimid comhbhrón a chroí le gach ar an gCraoslach i nDún na nGall. Tá pobal na tíre faoi scamall mór bróin anois agus iad ag smaoineamh ar a tharla tráthnóna Dé hAoine. Is tubaisteach agus is brónach an tragóid seo do theaghlaigh na ndaoine a maraíodh agus a gortaíodh.
"We put our arms around the bereaved and the injured. We pledge to support this community now and in the time ahead as it comes to terms with this trauma. We remember those who have died: Hugh, Robert, Martina, Martin, James, Catherine, Jessica, Leona, James and Shauna. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a n-anamacha.”