"Stolen Dreams" was written by Donegal musician Matt McGranaghan after he met and visited with Hugh and Donna Harper, the parents of 14-year-old Creeslough victim Leona Harper, earlier this year.

McGranaghan said on his YouTube page that he was "inspired by this young, beautiful, and incredible person" and began writing the emotional song.

He noted that four lines from the "Stolen Dreams" are taken from a print of a painting of two horses that Leona and her mother Donna bought before Christmas 2021. When they got the print home, they noticed writing on the top right and bottom left corners, which read: “Though my soul has set in darkness, It will rise in perfect light. I have loved the stars too fondly, To be fearful of the night.” These lines are originally from a poem titled “The Old Astronomer” by English poet Sarah Williams (1837-1868).

"Stolen Dreams" became a duet, and McGranaghan brought fellow Donegal musicians Sophie Gallagher and Chris McLaughlin aboard to record it.

"We recorded the song and I gave the recording to Leona’s parents," McGranaghan wrote. "The song was for them and their family. Whatever would happen to the song would be their decision.

"Hugh and Donna decided they wanted to share the song and wanted to use it to raise money in Leona’s name."

A video for "Stolen Dreams" was recorded in the Regional Cultural Centre, Letterkenny, and the online fundraiser has since been launched.

The fundraising appeal will benefit three Irish charities - CRITICAL Emergency Medical Response, SARDA Ireland North, and K9 Search and Rescue NI.

Creeslough Tragedy

On October 7, 2022, ten people were killed during an explosion at an Applegreen Service station in the village of Creeslough, Co Donegal.

Jessica Gallagher, 24, Robert Garwe, 50, his five-year-old daughter Shauna Flanagan Garwe, Leona Harper, 14, Hugh Kelly, 59, Martina Martin, 49, Martin McGill, 49, Catherine O'Donnell, 39, her 13-year-old son James Monaghan, and James O'Flaherty, 48, all died in the blast.

A further eight people were hospitalized. 

The cause of the explosion remains uncertain, but investigators suspect it was an accidental gas leak. 

The first anniversary of the tragedy will be marked with a commemoration and private Mass in Creeslough this Saturday, October 7.