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PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo
Donegal explosion.jpg
PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo
World News

Head of the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland expresses sympathy for the bereaved as he visits Co Donegal explosion site

by Kelly Valencia

The Catholic Primate of All Ireland and Archbishop of Armagh, Most Rev Eamon Martin, has spoken of the "deep sadness" and "deep sense of grief" evident in the Creeslough community following Friday's tragedy. 

An explosion at a Co Donegal petrol station killed ten people, including a five-year-old girl and her dad, and two teenagers.

The archbishop said: "Like many people all over the country and all over the world we've been stunned by the tragic and horrific events here at Creeslough on Friday afternoon.

"I wanted to come here to express my concern, my love for the people here, and also our deep gratitude to so many people who helped particularly on Friday evening and on Saturday to try to do what they could to recover, to rescue and to comfort all of those who are grieving or were injured."

An investigation is underway into the cause of the explosion but police are treating the incident as a "tragic accident."

Candlelit vigils have been held, with tributes coming from the Pope and King Charles and his Queen Consort Camila. 

Archbishop Eamon continued: "Words are really not enough, sometimes you just have to be here and be present, and that's what I've been trying to do," he said.

"Just looking up there at that building, which I think many of us would have visited many times when we're down in this very beautiful part of the world, just to see the empty shell that's there, for me, it conjures up the emptiness that there must be in so many homes, in schools, in workplaces and in the community that empty space."

The head of the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland added: "The Lord walks with you in your suffering in these horrific moments, offering you the hope of his resurrection."

"There are so many biblical verses that speak of terrible trauma like this," Archbishop Eamon said.

"I'm sure people all over the country are recalling their own sadness and their own losses at a time like this.

"It is at these times that we do reach out for God and for faith and for prayer and hope, Christian hope in the midst of it all."

The funerals of the victims are expected to take place this week.  

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