FUNERALS: Mourners in Creeslough told father and daughter ‘always together’

Updated / Saturday, 15 Oct 2022 16:02

The funerals of Robert Garwe and Shauna Flanagan Garwe were the final two of the ten victims of the blast
The funerals of Robert Garwe and Shauna Flanagan Garwe were the final two of the ten victims of the blast.

President Michael D Higgins joined relatives and other mourners for the Requiem Mass at St Michael’s church in the village, the final two funerals of the ten victims of the blast.

Relatives of 50-year-old Robert Garwe and Shauna Flanagan Garwe walked behind their cortège the short distance from their home to St Michael’s Church.

Relatives of Robert Garwe and his daughter Shauna Flanagan Garwe walked behind their cortège

They passed Scoil Mhuire school which Shauna had just started attending. Teachers and pupils stood silently in a guard of honour as the coffins went past.

The father and daughter had gone into the village shop to buy a birthday cake for the girl’s mother Áine, when they were caught in the blast that brought down the building.

A relative told how they had been recovered from the rubble wrapped in each other’s arms.

They were brought into the church by family; Shauna in a small wicker coffin.

As Mass began gifts were brought to the altar.

They included the scooter that Shauna and her father were seen on together frequently.

Shauna’s pink unicorn teddy was presented and placed alongside the many family photographs which adorned the altar and the two coffins.

Fr John Joe Duffy welcomed Mr Garwe’s children and family members, some of whom had travelled from Zimbabwe for the funeral.

“Creeslough welcomes you to this home where Bob and Shauna shared the life of this community,” he told them.

Fr Duffy painted a picture of a mischievous, fun-loving girl who brought great joy to her family and the entire village.

He told mourners the deaths of Mr Garwe and Shauna and all the others were “incomprehensible”; that they had numbed the community and that the pain was visible in the eyes of the people of Creeslough.

“We pray that Robert and Shauna are now side by side as they were side by side in the shop,” Fr Duffy said.

“Her father I’m sure in that split second just wanting to help and protect his beautiful daughter. We pray that they are side by side in heaven.”

“She was a truly wonderful girl who left a lasting impression on everyone she met. She together with her dad were very well known in this community.

“They were, together with her mum and dad, such a familiar sight up and down the road. They were always together that little unit,” he said.

President Michael D Higgins attended the Mass.

President Michael D Higgins (centre) arriving at St Michael’s Church in Creeslough this morning

The father and daughter are the last of the ten victims to be laid to rest after a week of funerals in Donegal.

Shauna was the youngest victim of the tragedy. Her father worked in construction and had moved to Donegal from Dublin.

Meanwhile, it has emerged that a support fund set up by the Irish Red Cross has reached over €1m since its launch five days ago.

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