Sixth funeral held since Friday’s fatal blast in Creeslough which killed ten people
A mother-of-four killed in the Creeslough service station tragedy had an “abundance of love”, her funeral service heard.
President of Ireland Michael D Higgins and Taoiseach Micheál Martin’s aide-de-camp were among those who attended the service for Martina Martin, 49.
She was working in the shop when the explosion happened.
“She was very special to us. She was very special to her colleagues and she was very special to us all.”
Her family walked behind the hearse as it arrived at St Michael’s Church in Creeslough on Thursday morning.
Crowds once again lined the streets and gathered at the entrance to the church to say goodbye to another member of their community.
Her co-workers provided a guard of honour as her coffin was brought into the church.
Representatives of Mulroy College in Milford, where two of her children attend, were also part of the honour guard.
“Martina had an abundance of love,” Fr John Joe Duffy told the congregation.
“She was sensitive to the needs of others and to those who are sensitive to the needs of others, life offers innumerable opportunities to practice the commandment of love.
“Real love requires hard work and patience. It requires doing up rotas on a board in the kitchen of the house telling you, the children, what your tasks are; emptying the bins, which I’m sure you did without fail.
“Putting out the bins, washing the dishes, which I’m sure great care was given to, and taking Dusty, Sophie and Junior for a walk.
“Dusty being the dog and Sophie and Junior being the cats. She offered you that love, that love in helping you prepare for the realities of life, and she did it so very well.
“For real love, for her, was a way of life.
“Her quick wit, her straight talking was done and given with love and with goodness.”
The mourners attending the funeral were also told that Mrs Martin loved the people of Creeslough.
“And we, each and every one of us who knew her, very much loved her,” Fr Duffy added.
“She was very special to us. She was very special to her colleagues and she was very special to us all.
“If we were having a bad day, the quick wit would lift us up. She cared for the customers in another way.
“Martina’s friends describe her as your mother hen, your mother hen to the core, she lived for you.
“She lived for you, her children. She never missed a birthday and loved to meet for a coffee to catch up.
“Martina was a beautiful person, her beauty inside radiated in that kind of cheeky mischievous smile which flowed out to you when you met her.
“She was the voice of reason when others were hurting.
“She never minced her words and was the kindest friend you could ever have. She was the life and soul of any night-out, she didn’t dwell on the problems she was facing, but put others first.”
Mourners were told how she worked at the heart of the community in an “exceptionally nice place”, and that customers would have met her naturally friendly face.
“She was at work as normal, doing what she did, doing what she liked, doing what she loved, doing what was routine to us all and then, what turned out as a normal day, ended up a very different way to the way that it ordinarily would,” Fr Duffy added.
“All things changed, events outside our control, outside the control indeed of any one of us, those few seconds of time last Friday have impacted so much on you as a family and on so many other families and on all of us.
“Seconds that changed in time, that led to the changing for future generations of our village, our community and communities beyond. The events of last Friday will be forever etched in our hearts.”
He said that the community of Creeslough is growing in strength each day to get through the hours and days ahead.
“Creeslough is a small village, but it is now more than just that. It is now a word for determination, for resolve and for togetherness and how important togetherness is,” Fr Duffy added.
“This tragedy has reignited within all of us, myself included, that each one of us are only as strong as the families we have around us, only as strong as the community that surrounds us.”
At the end of the service Fr Duffy urged people affected by the tragedy to contact local counselling services, which he said he intended to do himself.
The service is the sixth funeral for the victims of Friday’s tragedy, and the fifth to be held at St Michael’s Church.
The funerals of Jessica Gallagher, 24, and Martin McGill, 49, were held in Creeslough on Tuesday, while those of Catherine O’Donnell, 39, and her son James Monaghan, 13, were held in Creeslough on Wednesday afternoon, and a service for James O’Flaherty, 48, was held in the morning in Derrybeg.
The funeral of 14-year-old Leona Harper will take place at St Mary’s Church in Ramelton on Thursday afternoon, and that of the oldest victim of the tragedy, 59-year-old Hugh Kelly, will take place in St Michael’s on Friday morning.
Funeral details for the youngest victim, Shauna Flanagan Garwe, 5, and her father Robert Garwe, 50, have yet to be announced.