King Charles expresses "immense sadness" over Creeslough tragedy
"We remember with the greatest fondness meeting people from across Donegal when we visited in 2016 and the strongest sense of community that exists there."
King Charles III has expressed his "immense sadness" following the tragedy in Donegal that claimed 10 lives on Friday, 7 October.
An explosion occurred at around 3.20pm on Friday at the Applegreen Service Station in Creeslough.
Numerous tributes have been paid in the days since the incident. Speaking to RTÉ's Morning Ireland over the weekend, Taoiseach Micheál Martin described the explosion as "absolutely devastating" and "shocking".
"Our sympathies and our hearts go out to the families and friends of those who have lost their lives and those who have been injured, to the entire community," he said.
"Communities are what, I think, defines our people and we're witnessing a terrible, terrible tragedy on a wonderful community in Creeslough. Our thoughts and our prayers are with them."
On Monday, King Charles sent a message of condolence to President Michael D. Higgins, recalling his fondness for the people of Donegal during his visit to the county in 2016.
"My wife and I were filled with immense sadness when we heard of that appallingly tragic explosion at Creeslough, County Donegal," his statement began.
"We remember with the greatest fondness meeting people from across Donegal when we visited in 2016 and the strongest sense of community that exists there.
"However inadequate this may be under such shattering circumstances, we wanted you to know that our most heartfelt sympathy and deepest condolences are with those families and friends who have lost their loved ones in this devastating tragedy, together with yourself and the people of Ireland."
Public fundraisers have been set up for the families of those affected, which includes all 920 post offices across the country accepting donations towards the Irish Red Cross.
"The An Post board, management, and staff across Ireland send their deepest sympathies, thoughts, and prayers to all those who have lost loved ones in the Cresslough tragedy, to those who are injured, to the Postmistress and Post Office staff and all the Creeslough community," noted a spokesperson.
Meanwhile, a Donegal man living in Australia named Gerald McFadden has launched a GoFundMe campaign to help the families of the deceased as well as the injured.
At the time of writing, the fundraiser has raised over €265,000. You can visit the page here.