'Grief knows no boundaries': Heartbreak at funeral for Creeslough petrol explosion victim

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The funeral mass for James O’Flaherty, 48, is under at St Mary’s Church, Derrybeg. Mr O’Flaherty was one of 10 who died in an explosion at a petrol station in Creeslough on Friday.

Parish priest Brian O Fearraigh began the service at St Mary’s Church in Derrybeg by extending his condolences to the family, particularly to Mr O’Flaherty’s wife Tracey and 12-year-old son Hamish.

Father O Fearraigh said at the service: “We have all experienced since Friday afternoon that grief knows no boundaries.

“The tragic event and the effects of the Creeslough catastrophe, which is beyond comprehension, knows no bounds.

“The intensity and the awfulness of the tragedy has reverberated near and far. Away beyond the shores of this beautiful country of ours.

“The outpouring of support and messages of condolence and offers of help that we have heard and witnessed, all has been overwhelming.

“Parochial, county, country boundaries have been crossed. Hands of support and friendship have been offered.

“In crossing such boundaries we have seen how from the shadow and out of the depths of the darkness of this terrible tragedy a most beautiful and radiant and divine light of friendship, love and support has shone and continues to shine brightly.”

After the service, an interment will take place afterwards in Magheragallon Cemetery.

Irish President Michael D Higgins was seen embracing members of the family in the church ahead of the service.

At 2pm, the funeral mass of James Monaghan, 13, and and his mother Catherine O’Donnell, 39, is set to take place at St Michael’s Church, Creeslough.

Catherine and James were in the queue for the post office when the explosion happened.

Following the mass, their burial will take place in Doe Cemetery, Derrybeg.

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On Tuesday, funerals for Jessica Gallagher, 24, and Martin McGill, 49, took place at St Michael’s Church in Creeslough.

The funerals of two other victims, 14-year-old Leona Harper and 49-year-old Martina Martin, will take place on Thursday.

Hugh Kelly, 59, will be laid to rest on Friday, and plans for the two remaining victims, 50-year-old Robert Garwe and his five-year-old daughter Shauna Flanagan Garwe, are unknown.



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