Around 2,000 people gathered at the site of a gas station explosion in Creeslough, County Donegal, on Saturday to mark the first anniversary of the tragic incident that left 10 people dead.
Parish priest John Joe Duffy led the memorial service, offering prayers to those who died, their families, those who were injured, and those who responded to the tragedy.
Members of the emergency services who responded to the tragedy were in attendance on Saturday, including gardaí, members of the Ambulance Service, and members of the K-9 Search and Rescue unit from Northern Ireland.
The ceremony took place at 3 p.m. on Saturday, exactly one year since the tragic explosion at the Applegreen service station. Mourners fell silent at 3:17 p.m. to mark the exact moment that the explosion occurred, while the names of all those who died were read out and a bell was rung ten times in memory of each of them.
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 on October 7, 2022.
Fr. Duffy told those in attendance that the date of the explosion would forever be etched in the memories of locals, adding that it will take the village some time to recover from the tragedy.
"In this community of Creeslough, we know neither the length nor the duration of that journey, but we will travel it together," Fr. Duffy said at Saturday's service.
"The last year has been a difficult journey, a journey of mourning, a journey of healing, a journey of learning to cope, particularly for those from whom this tragedy took ten beautiful souls and for those also who were injured in body and for all of us who were injured in mind.
Fr. Duffy thanked the emergency services who responded to the explosion last year and paid tribute to the people of Ireland for sending thousands of messages of condolence following the tragedy.
He asked Irish people to keep Creeslough in their hearts as the village continues to recover from the devastating tragedy.
The Church of Ireland Bishop of Derry and Raphoe Andrew Forster said the last 12 months had been difficult and painful but added that it was also a year in which "we saw the best of people".
President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins paid tribute to the people of Creeslough in a message on Saturday.
"It is so appropriate that this occasion is being remembered as a great tribute not only to those who were lost, but to the community that had held them at its heart," Higgins said.
Saturday's memorial service was followed by a private vigil mass at St. Michael's Church to remember those who died and to thank the emergency services who responded to the explosion.
Gardaí have still not confirmed the cause of the explosion but have previously stated that the incident was being treated as a tragic accident. A gas leak is being considered as one of the possibilities.
In an update during the week, An Garda Síochána said it "continues to work diligently and as expeditiously as possible, in the circumstances, to ensure that all the circumstances of this fatal explosion are professionally investigated".
Gardaí have followed more than 1,300 lines of inquiry and taken more than 900 statements during their investigations into the blast.