As more details emerge about the victims, Micheal Martin, the Irish Prime Minister, has stated that the whole nation mourns 10 people who were killed in the explosion at a petrol station.
On Friday, the blast at Creeslough’s service station in Creeslough (Co Donegal) claimed the lives four men, three women and two teenagers. One of them was a boy, the other a girl, and the third was a girl in primary school.
Leona Harper, a teenage rugby player, was among the victims.
Letterkenny Rugby Club posted a tribute on their Facebook page to the “talented player” and “important part” of their U14 girls’ soccer team.
The club stated: “We are heartbroken that our worst fears have been confirmed… To Leona’s parents, Hugh, Donna, her brothers Anthony, Jamie, and all her team mates we offer our deepest condolences.
“There are no words strong enough to express deep sorrow like this.
Leona, rest in peace.
Jessica Gallagher was believed to be in her 20s. Shop worker Martina Martin, Catherine O’Donnell, and James O’Donnell were all named locally as the victims of the blast. Hughie Kelly was also among the dead.
Another four victims, including a primary school-aged girl, were also killed.
Eight people were still in hospital after being injured by the explosion on Saturday.
Irish police are treating the explosion as a “tragic incident”.
Martin visited the scene and spoke with members of emergency services, who had worked 24 hours to locate victims after the explosion. The long search for victims and the recovery operation was completed on Saturday afternoon.
He described a sense of “deep sadness” and “terrible silence” that reflected the magnitude of the events.
“The whole nation is deeply saddened and in mourning.
“A small child was in the shop, and there were two teenagers. There were also men and women going about their daily lives.
“It’s a close-knit community, and our hearts go out to them.”
The Taoiseach said: “Talking with those on the frontline and all involved, they were moved by the extraordinary support that they received from the community almost immediately.
“Many volunteers raced to the scene to do their best to help. It was a terrible scene that they saw and they must remember to call 911.
“I would like to express my gratitude for their help in helping the injured and trapped. We must support the community in every way possible.
“Words alone will not comfort someone who has lost a loved ones. We have to be there for them. They will always be our companions.
Mary Lou McDonald, president of Sinn Fein, visited Creeslough Saturday night with Tanaiste Leo Varadkar, deputy prime minister, and the leader of Ireland’s main opposition party.
Later, the political leaders joined local residents and emergency service personnel to offer a service at a nearby church for the victims.
The Mass was addressed by Fr John Joe Duffy, the parish priest. He said: “Our hearts are indeed breaking, we all feel a numbness and disbelief that this tragedy is really happening, that it’s real.
“The sadness we see in the young as well as the elderly shows that this family cares about each other and is a true community.
“We all feel the pain, even though we suffer the loss.”
“The days ahead are difficult. There is no easy way.
“However, we will be able to rely on the strength of our community.”