Mother of Creeslough victim expresses hopes for memorial site


The mother of a teenage girl who died in the Creeslough explosion has pleaded for the site not to be redeveloped.

Donna Harper heartbreakingly lost her 14-year-old daughter Leona in the County Donegal village explosion on October 7, 2022.

10 people lost their lives in the incident, with the youngest being five-year-old girl Shauna Flanagan-Garwe.

Almost two years on from the heartbreaking tragedy, Leona’s mother Donna has confirmed that she was recently approached about a proposal to rebuild the site’s commercial units.

In a recent interview, Donna recalled her shocked reaction when she heard the news.

"I asked if they were serious. This is the exact spot where we lost our daughter and ten people lost their lives while so many other people were injured and traumatised,” she explained, adding that the explosion was “one of the biggest disasters to ever hit Donegal.”

"Now, we have no problem with the rebuilding of the commercial building elsewhere in Creeslough, but just not on the same site where the devastation happened,” she said.

Describing the site as a “sacred and holy piece of ground”, Donna continued: "We know the exact spot where our daughter lost her life in that shop. For me, it is unbearable to think that they would rebuild there and have people walking over the spot where my daughter and nine other people lost their lives.”


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Donna then went on to note that she would like the site to be turned into a memorial for families and the wider community to pay their respects.

"To be honest, anything at all besides building on the site is the preferred option. Whether it is a memorial garden, a place to plant trees or even just a bench to sit – just somewhere we can go to remember our loved ones,” she detailed.

A petition to stop the rebuild was set up earlier this week, and has achieved over 400 signatures.