'She was starting her new life today' - Creeslough families remember their loved ones

Jessica Gallagher's aunt said her niece was was to start a job as a fashion designer on Monday
Barry Whyte
Barry Whyte

14.03 10 Oct 2022

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'She was starting her new life...

'She was starting her new life today' - Creeslough families remember their loved ones

Barry Whyte
Barry Whyte

14.03 10 Oct 2022

Share this article

The families of some of the victims who died in the Creeslough explosion have been paying tribute to their loved ones.

It comes as the first of 10 funerals will take place in the village on Tuesday.

The funeral for 24-year-old Jessica Gallagher will take place in St Michael's Church at 11am.


Speaking to Highland Radio, Jessica's aunt Dolores said her niece was due to start her new life today.

"Jessica was, as her photograph showed, the most beautiful young woman," she said.

"She was very artistic, she qualified as a fashion designer.

"She was to start, finally, her job as a fashion designer today; today was the day she was starting her new professional life as a fashion designer in Belfast.

"She had just finished her first commission."

'She loved Creeslough so much'

Dolores said Jessica was very proud of where she came from.

"She was so proud of and loved her locality," she said. "She loved Creeslough so much."

"When she was a student in Paris, one of her assignments was to work on something from home.

"She produced a beautiful picture of Muckish in the moonlight; we took her remains home yesterday in the moonlight," she added.

Leona Harper Leona Harper. Picture by: Facebook/An Garda Síochána

Leona Harper's father Hugh paid tribute to his 14-year-old daughter, who had been visiting friends in Creeslough.

"Leona was a little gem - very outgoing, very friendly, a lovely person; very quiet, laid back, loved life," he said.

"[She] loved the outdoors, walking through fields, going fishing, spending time with friends, going to car shows.

"She, like everybody else's daughter to their own, she was very special... she's going to be very sorely missed."

'It's extremely hard'

The funeral of 49-year-old Martin McGill will also take place on Tuesday at 2pm.

Martin was originally from Scotland, and had been living locally for 10 years.

His cousin Sharon said the family is finding it hard to come terms with what happened.

"They moved to Scotland here [sic] about 10 years ago," she said. "They live down in the cottages down there.

"A big tragedy - I don't think it's hit everybody yet; I suppose you still expect loved ones to come back through the door.

"It's extremely hard," she added.

48-year-old James O’Flaherty - originally from Sydney, Australia - is also to be laid to rest on Wednesday.

Additional reporting: Jack Quann

Main image: Jessica Gallagher. Picture by: Facebook/An Garda Síochána

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