Donegal native Andrea Gilligan has paid tribute to the people of Creeslough after the “absolutely heart-breaking” tragedy that hit the town on Friday.
Ten people died in the explosion above a petrol station in the Donegal town on Friday afternoon and several others are still in hospital.
Funeral details are now being announced with 24-year-old Jessica Gallagher due to be the first to be laid to rest tomorrow morning.
Meanwhile, vigils are being held across the county with hundreds of people turning out to pay their respects in Creeslough yesterday.
On Lunchtime Live this afternoon, presenter Andrea Gilligan paid tribute to the local community.
Andrea reflects on the tragedy in Creeslough, in her home county of Donegal. pic.twitter.com/4lyh1pPghe
— NewstalkFM (@NewstalkFM) October 10, 2022
“It is just absolutely heart-breaking, what happened on Friday afternoon,” she said.
“I know the entire nation is grieving for the area and thinking of the people of Creeslough and the surrounding areas as well, but the impact of this is being felt right across the county.
“The enormity of this is really, really only starting to hit home.
“Donegal is no stranger to tragedy - and to really large-scale tragedy - but I just think it is the innocence of this; it is the randomness of it.
“The innocence of people just in their local shop going about their daily lives, buying the most normal things that has really just stopped everybody in their tracks.”
An Post say people have been making donations to the Creeslough Community Support Fund at all 920 Post Offices to provide direct support through @irishredcross to all those bereaved, injured, traumatised & made homeless. @TheHardShoulder @kierancuddihy @NewstalkFM 4pm @AnPostvox pic.twitter.com/2Dv8LVui8k
— Henry McKean (@HenryMcKean) October 10, 2022
She said Donegal is a tight community that will rally around the bereaved.
“The thing about Donegal is, despite its sparse geography, it is actually an extremely close-knit county,” she said.
“Even just talking to people in the south of the country in my own home area, everybody is … they are just absolutely heartbroken.
“For the families that have been left behind. For the families of those that are still in hospital receiving treatment.
“For the emergency services who just worked so tirelessly over the past number of days. For the local community and just the people of Donegal in general, I think everybody across the island is just really, really thinking of you.
“If I know one thing though about my home county it is that Donegal people will rally.
“They will be there, not just this weekend, but in the coming weeks and months ahead and their support will be so badly needed.”
A dedicated Creeslough Community Support Fund has been launched to help the people of the devastated Donegal town.
You can donate through the dedicated webpage or at any of the 920 Post Offices around the country.