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Irish Mirror
Irish Mirror
Stephen Maguire

Top garda hopeful for answers on cause of Creeslough tragedy - but warns it will take time

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris has said he is hopeful of getting answers to what caused the tragic Creeslough tragedy.

Ten people lost their lives when the Applegreen Service Station in the County Donegal village exploded on the afternoon of October 7th last.

Commissioner Harris was speaking following a meeting with Donegal's Joint Policing Committee to discuss plans for the new Policing Model.

He confirmed that as part of the investigation into the disaster, experts in dealing with "gas-type explosions" had been drafted in.

He said a huge amount of work has already gone into the initial investigation at the scene and interviewing witnesses.

However, he said the investigation will take time because of its complexities.

READ MORE: Creeslough garda probe "one of the biggest ever" as detectives interview people abroad

READ MORE: Creeslough turns on Christmas lights in poignant scenes with touching tribute to explosion victims

"Ultimately we would hope to get to some final explanation as to what happened and that's what we are working towards and why we have put so much time and effort into the examination of the scene and gathering witness statements," he said.

He said together with the experts, he hoped they would get to a satisfactory conclusion as to what caused the explosion.

He added "The investigation is properly and well-resourced in terms of what it set out to do. It just has to have time to follow through.

"As you can imagine the complexity of the evidence that is being retrieved and then expert analysis and conclusions drawn from that but I can't say what the future is going to unfold in respect of it but hopefully we can get to an answer."

The chairperson of the Donegal Joint Policing Committee, Councillor Gerry McMonagle and also the Chief Executive Officer of Donegal County Council, John McLaughlin both paid tribute to the Gardai and the emergency services for their work following the tragedy.

Those who died in the tragedy were James O’Flaherty (48), Jessica Gallagher (24), Martin McGill (49), Catherine O’Donnell (39) and her son James Monaghan (13), Hugh Kelly (59), Martina Martin (49), Robert Garwe (50) and his daughter Shauna Flanagan Garwe (5) and Leona Harper (14).

Meanwhile, a man in his 20s who sustained serious injuries in the blast has been released from hospital.

The man, who was living in the apartment block above the service station, has been interviewed as part of the investigation to ascertain what he remembers about the moments leading up to the blast.

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