'Numbed' | 

Donegal school’s agony as two students and two parents killed in Creeslough blast

Teenagers James Monaghan and Leona Harper, and mothers of students Catherine O’Donnell and Martina Martin lost their lives in the tragic accident on Friday afternoon.

(Top left to right) Hugh Kelly (59), Robert Garwe (50), Jessica Gallagher (24), (Middle) Leona Harper (14), (top right) James O'Flaherty (48) (Bottom left to right) Martina Martin (49), Martin McGill (49), Catherine O'Donnell (39) and her 13-year-old James Monaghan, Shauna Flanagan Garwe (5)© Belfast Telegraph

Stephen MaguireSunday World

A secondary school rocked by the Creeslough tragedy said it is united in shock with the victims.

Two students and the mothers of two students from Mulroy College in MIlford were lost in the explosion.

Teenagers James Monaghan and Leona Harper, and mothers of students Catherine O’Donnell and Martina Martin lost their lives in the tragic accident on Friday afternoon.

There were also a number of students who incurred injuries at the scene.

Ms Fiona Temple, School Principal of Mulroy College said the school, staff and pupils are devastated by the incident.

She said “We as a school community are devastated on hearing of the tragedy and the fatal outcome for our two beautiful students and our cherished parents. Our thoughts and prayers are with all the families and the Creeslough community at this time.

Garda brings flowers to the scene of an explosion at Applegreen service station in the village of Creeslough in Co Donegal, where ten people have now been confirmed dead. Picture date: Sunday October 9, 2022.© PA

"We are numbed by this overwhelming sadness and will work together to support all members of our school community in the coming days, weeks and months ahead.

"Our priority, as a school management and staff, is the wellbeing and welfare of the students and their families at this tragic time. We extend our best wishes to all those who suffered injuries including some of our students.”

The students, staff, Board of Management and parents of Mulroy College have sent their deepest sympathies to families who have tragically lost a loved one.

"We also hope that all those injured will make a full recovery," a spokesperson for Donegal ETB said.

As news broke of the tragic accident, the Critical Incident Plan of Mulroy College was enacted.

Ten red candles candles at St Michael's Church in Creeslough Co Donegal, for the ten victims of the Applegreen service station explosion. Picture date: Sunday October 9, 2022.© PA

The Student Support Team, the Critical Incident Team and the management and staff of Mulroy College are supporting students, parents and staff at this very difficult time.

Psychologists from the National Educational Psychological Service and Donegal ETB have offered advice and guidance to ensure the wellbeing of students and families was a priority.

Dr Martin Gormley, Director of Schools with Donegal ETB said it is difficult to put into words the impact of the tragedy on the community.

He added “I wish to compliment the emergency and health services, the school management and staff and the educational psychologists on their response to this critical incident.

"We extend our sympathies to all the families and we now wish all those injured a speedy recovery following the accident. This is a tragedy that is difficult to put words on.”

Mulroy College will be open on Sunday, October 9, from 3 to 4pm to enable students, parents and staff to visit and support one another.

The school will open as normal on Monday and numerous supports will be available to support students, staff and parents.


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