Books of condolence for Creeslough victims’ families open across island of Ireland
Books of condolence opened across the island of Ireland for the victims of the Creeslough tragedy to enable people extend sympathies to families of the 10 people who lost their lives in the explosion.
Books opened at Donegal county council offices from 9am-4.30pm at Lifford, Letterkenny, Carndonagh, Donegal town, Dungloe and Milford.
In Dublin, Lord Mayor Caroline Conroy opened an online book of condolence, as has the Mayor of Limerick Francis Foley.
“Send a message of support, send a message of solidarity and also to showcase how much the citizens of Belfast truly sympathise with the Creeslough community.”
A book was opened at Cork City Hall by Lord Mayor Deirdre Forde.
A number of books of condolence will also be opened to the public across Northern Ireland, including at Belfast City Hall, Stormont and the Guildhall in Derry.
Stormont speaker Alex Maskey was the first to sign the book of condolence at Parliament Buildings, followed by Sinn Fein vice president Michelle O’Neill and DUP Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots.
Ms O’Neill said: “My thoughts are very much with the families who lost loved ones in Creeslough.
“The country is certainly in mourning at this time at what has been such a tragic and random event.
“I visited on Saturday evening, I had a chance to speak to some of the local residents.
“Someone as young as young Shauna (Flanagan Garwe), five years of age, it is just beyond belief and heart-breaking and just devastating for all those families in that wider circle.
“So, our thoughts are very much with the community in the days ahead, because they certainly have a long journey ahead of them in terms of coming to terms with what’s happened as they lay their loved ones to rest.”
Opening the book in Belfast City Hall, Lord Mayor Tina Black said: “I want to say we are devastated here in Belfast for the people of Creeslough.
“We obviously have deep historical connections to Donegal. It was always viewed as a place of sanctuary.
“I cannot imagine the immeasurable grief the families and the wider community are feeling.
I know that the community will be strong and will be united.
“I want the Creeslough community to know that Belfast is thinking of them all. We are praying for you all and we are so, so sorry that this devastation has befallen you.”
She added: “I wanted to open this book of condolence in the City Hall today.
“I would encourage all people to come in and send a message to those in Creeslough.
“Send a message of support, send a message of solidarity and also to showcase how much the citizens of Belfast truly sympathise with the Creeslough community.
“I also want to thank all the emergency services from Donegal and here who worked under such traumatic circumstances in the search and recovery operation.”
A book opened at the Guildhall in Derry at 3pm followed by a candlelit vigil in the city at 8pm.
The Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Sandra Duffy, said it had been a “sad weekend” for the north west.
She added: “It has been a deeply sad weekend for the people of Donegal, Derry and Tyrone as we watched in disbelief details of the tragedy unfold in Creeslough.
“There are no words for the sadness and grief we all feel.
“Our hearts are sore for the victims’ families and the wider community in Creeslough for their terrible loss.
“It is a small rural community and for a tragedy of this magnitude to happen is just unthinkable.”