Scot who died in petrol station explosion had 'most beautiful soul'

Martin McGill's funeral was held at St Michael's Church in Creeslough and he will be laid to rest at Doe Cemetery.

The funeral for a Scots man who died in the Irish petrol station explosion has been held in County Donegal.

Martin McGill, from Kirkintilloch, was one of ten people who lost their lives in the tragedy which occurred in the village of Creeslough on Friday.

Mr McGill’s coffin was led into St Michael’s Church by a lone piper and a Celtic jersey was brought to the front of the church in honour of the life-long Hoops fan.

The 49-year-old was described as “someone who just loved life” with “the most beautiful soul” by Father John Joe Duffy during the service.

Mourners sang the song You’ll Never Walk Alone and Fr Duffy said it would have meant a lot to Mr McGill that the club had made a donation to a support fund for the Creeslough victims.

Celtic players will also wear black armbands at their next match as a mark of respect.

Family issued a thank you to all who had offered support in recent days before Bishop of Raphoe Alan McGuckian led the congregation in prayer.

Mourners heard how Mr McGill was dedicated to caring for his mother Mary as Fr Duffy described him as “a carer who was filled with love, filled with kindness and compassion”.

He added: “Despite the awful, horrible tragedy that has struck at the very heart of this community, and broken our hearts, from the very first moment aren’t those the key words that have been in action in this community but have always been in action in this community.”

Martin McGill, 49, was one of ten people who lost their life in the explosion.An Garda Siochana

Fr Duffy said Mr McGill had now been reunited with his recently deceased father Joseph.

“His strength was in that he was a caring person,” he added.

“And the fact that he was a caring person, a person of kindness and compassion, gave him strength when he had to face bereavement and not very long ago when he had to say goodbye to his dad which was most difficult for him.”

Father John Joe Duffy said Martin McGill had the “most beautiful soul”.

“A gentle soul, a kind person,” he added.

“A person where you could see the goodness flowing out from him. It was effervescent. It was like when you tighten a bottle and you give it a shake as a child and make it go all over the place when you open it up.

“He was just so caring. The caring flowed out from him. Each Sunday he would be in this church, he would be down there lighting candles. I think he lit more candles than I ever lit anyway in my life. I don’t think anyone could break that record.”

Fr Duffy said Mr McGill was a familiar sight in Creeslough wearing his Celtic top and carrying a bottle of Lucozade.

He said he was routinely in the shop where he ultimately died, doing messages for other people.

“It was I suppose against the odds that Martin would not have been in the shop, for he went to the shop five times a day or more to bring those errands out for people,” he said.

“He was someone who just loved life and loved the simple things of life. And they reckon he was great at keepy-ups and the cousins couldn’t beat him either and he was very proud of that.”

Mr McGill was the second of ten victims from Friday’s explosion to be laid to rest.

Mr McGill is survived by his mother Mary and sisters Maria Louise and Caroline and brothers in law, Mathew and Iain as well as nieces, nephews and extended family and friends.

He will be buried at Doe Cemetery.

Following the tragedy, Celtic FC announced they will hold a period of silence at the start of their game against RB Leipzig on Wednesday.

The club previously announced it would donate £10,000 to the Creeslough Community Support Fund.

In a statement the club said: “Everyone at Celtic Football Club wishes to send our most sincere condolences to the families of the ten people who tragically died in Creeslough, Donegal on Friday and we offer our full support to the entire community, which is suffering so much at this difficult time.

“Through the club’s charitable arm, Celtic FC Foundation, £10,000 will be donated to the Creeslough Community Support Fund in the aftermath of this heartbreaking event.

“The Support Fund has been set up by the Irish Red Cross in collaboration with An Post and Applegreen to provide rapid and long-term assistance to the Creeslough community.”

It continued: “Donegal has a long and emotional connection with Celtic Football Club. The area is home to a large contingent of Celtic supporters, one of whom being Martin McGill, who tragically lost his life in the incident.

“We send our heartfelt sympathies to the families of all of the victims and the people of Creeslough.

“Our thoughts, prayers and support are with you all at this difficult time.

“You’ll Never Walk Alone.”

Ireland’s police force, An Garda Siochana, continues to investigate the cause of the blast in a building complex which included the service station, convenience store and residential apartments.

It is being treated as a “tragic accident” but early investigations suggest it was a gas leak.

The other victims who died were died were 50-year-old Robert Garwe and his five-year-old daughter Shauna Flanagan Garwe, 48-year-old James O’Flaherty, 24-year-old Jessica Gallagher, 39-year-old Catherine O’Donnell and her 13-year-old son James Monaghan, 59-year-old Hugh Kelly, 49-year-old Martina Martin, and 14-year-old Leona Harper.

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