Bishops comfort Creeslough residents after ‘heartbreaking’ tragedy

The Catholic and Church of Ireland bishops of Donegal have comforted the community of Creeslough after Friday’s explosion which left at least nine people dead.

Raphoe Bishop Alan McGuckian visited the scene of the devastation at Applegreen petrol station on Friday evening and was in the village again on Saturday when he was joined by Bishop Andrew Forster, Bishop of the Church of Ireland of Derry and Raphoe. The two bishops met and prayed with bereaved family members, friends and neighbors of those who died and were injured.

The Bishop of Raphoe paid tribute to the bravery of local people who put their own safety at risk to help others in the aftermath of the blast. He said he was “deeply saddened by the loss of life and the extent of the injuries caused”.

“I witnessed firsthand the immediate reaction of the local community to the tragedy who, in their bravery, took risks on the site to help others, even at the expense of their own safety. I would like to commend first responders and emergency services in Donegal and Derry for their high level of professional cooperation and rapid response.

“In the wake of this heartbreaking human tragedy, I ask all parishes in the Diocese of Raphoe to come together to pray at Mass this weekend, so that people can offer comfort and support to each other and to all who suffer.God always walks with us, in light and in darkness, so let us embrace the power of prayer in this time of need and He will be there for us.
The Bishop of Derry and Raphoe, Rt Rev Andrew Forster said the community of Creeslough will be scarred for many years to come.

“I ask people to keep the bereaved and injured in their prayers, and also to remember the members of the emergency services – and the people of Creeslough – who did all they could to save lives. We, as as a community, owe them an enormous debt of gratitude.

“It is essential that the cause of the explosion on Friday afternoon is established as quickly as possible and that every effort is made to prevent it from happening again.”

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