Mourners said Creeslough victim Robert Garwe and his daughter Shauna, 5, are ‘always together’

Father and daughter Robert Garwe, 50, and Shauna Flanagan Garwe, 5, were “always together” and part of a “loving family unit,” mourners said at their funeral.

A huge crowd gathered for the joint service at St Michael’s Church in Creeslough this morning, which was the last of eight funerals held this week for the 10 victims who died in the blast that destroyed local business.

Mr Garwe and little Shauna were driven into the store by family friend Hugh Kelly, 59, who also died in the blast. The trio made the trip with the best of intentions, with Shauna and Robert hoping to buy a birthday cake for Shauna’s mother, Áine.

Shauna was the youngest person to die in the tragedy and she had just started primary school while her father, who is originally from Zimbabwe, was working in construction. Her funeral has been postponed to allow time for Mr Garwe’s family members to travel from Zimbabwe.

At today’s morning prayers, pictures of Robert and Shauna were placed on their coffins with family and friends.

Before the funeral service began, President Michael D. Higgins offered his condolences to the bereaved.

Father John Joe Duffy spoke as symbols from the lives of Robert and Shauna were brought to the altar.

These included a scooter, a catapult for their “hunt together”, Mr. Garwe’s hat “which he always wore” and Shauna’s unicorn teddy bear. The Edenmore Nursery in Dublin, which Shauna previously attended, also brought a floral tribute and a “little book of photographs”.

Regarding the scooter, Father Duffy said: “I’m not sure who could ride the scooter the fastest, but I do know that on foot Shauna could outrun her father, be it at the school gate, be it on the street, where I’ve seen and met her a lot, be it in the store helping to stack the shelves with the girls.”

Father Duffy said that “both Robert and Shauna are standing side by side now, just as they were side by side in the store”.


Robert Garwe (50) and his daughter Shauna Flanagan Garwe (5)

Speaking of Shauna, Father Duffy said she was so excited to go to school that she would ask to play there before the school year started. He said she was a loving child who always ran to comfort his classmates when they were upset.

“She was happiest in class doing her art or painting. Just last week Shauna took some of her daddy’s drawings and she loved showing them off to the class with pride. Shauna often spoke of you, her mom and dad at school, and her dog Kilo,” he added.

Father Duffy said Robert Garwe is a man who likes to “keep fit”. He described him as a dedicated family man and a big part of the local community.

“He just had this kindness and cared so much about staying fit and healthy and had this beautiful love for little Shauna with you, Áine,” he said.

“We are feeling the pain of loss here this morning in a very deep and profound way, as we have all last week and throughout the day.

“We are gathered here once again this morning to say goodbye to a father and his beloved and very loving beautiful little girl.

“Áine, we would like to reach into your heart this morning to take away your pain. But with great love there is great pain. So it’s understandable that there’s so much pain this morning, but it’s going to stay with you, it’s going to stay near you, it’s going to be with you,” he added.

A private cremation service will be held for Mr. Garwe and Shauna later today.

On Friday October 7th an explosion at the Appelgreen petrol station in Creeslough, Co. Donegal killed 10 people. The cause of the explosion is under investigation.

The 10 dead were Robert Garwe (50) and Shauna Flanagan Garwe (5), Hugh Kelly (59), Jessica Gallagher (24), Martin McGill (49), James O’Flaherty (48), Catherine O’Donnell (39) and her 13-year-old son James Monaghan, Martina Martin, 49, and 14-year-old Leona Harper. Mourners said Creeslough victim Robert Garwe and his daughter Shauna, 5, are ‘always together’

Fry Electronics Team

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