Mourners pray blast victims Shauna, 5, and Robert 'side-by-side in heaven' as 'wonderful girl' & 'proud dad' remembered | The Sun

MOURNERS at the funeral of a dad and his young daughter who died together in the service station explosion prayed that they are "side-by-side in heaven" today.

Five-year-old Shauna Flanagan Garwe, and her dad Robert Garwe were buying a cake for her mum's birthday when the tragedy happened in Creeslough, Donegal, on October 7.

Robert, 50, who was originally from Zimbabwe, worked in construction and could often be seen travelling around the village on his scooter.

Shauna, the youngest victim, started at Scoil Mhuire national school in Creeslough just weeks ago.

She died "wrapped in her daddy's care", her heartbroken uncle said last week.

The child's small coffin was carried into St Michael's Church first, followed by her father's ahead of their mass.

There were a number of photographs of Shauna and flowers in front of the altar in the church, which bore 10 candles – one for each of the victims of the tragedy.

Father John Joe Duffy began by welcoming the congregation, which included President Michael D Higgins, a representative of Taoiseach Micheal Martin and emergency services.

Fr Duffy offered their "most sincere sympathies" to Robert's partner Aine "on the death of your partner and your beautiful daughter", and welcomed family members who had travelled, including some from Zimbabwe.

Symbols representing different aspects of Robert and Shauna's lives were present, including a scooter "which was very much part and parcel of their lives".

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Fr Duffy told mourners: "I'm not sure who could go fastest on the scooter, but I know on feet, Shauna could outrun her dad, be it at the school gate, be it on the road where I so often saw them and met them, or be it in the shop where she helped to stack the shelves with the girls."

There was also a catapult for "hunting together" and Shauna's favourite unicorn teddy in the Creeslough church.


Fr Duffy described Robert and his daughter side-by-side, "as they were side-by-side in the shop.. I'm sure in that split second just wanting to help protect his beautiful daughter so very much".

He added: "Side-by-side here, we pray that they are side-by-side in heaven."

He described Shauna as someone who "loved to entertain", and read from a tribute left to her.

He said: "Shauna could always be heard with a giggle, and when sitting down she sure did like to wiggle.

"On her pink scooter she would come to the gate, with Kylo in tow, her little dog mate.

"So chatty and bubbly she just loved to play and have fun with her friends each and every day."


The tribute went on to describe her love of art and animals, adding: "A great vet she would have been.

"She was a lovable character with a mischievous way, and we will miss her so much, forever and a day."

He added: "A truly wonderful girl who left a lasting impression on all she met.

"She, together with her dad, were very well known in this community, together with her dad and mum, such a familiar sight up and down the road, they were always together, that little unit."

Robert, or Bob, was remembered as being proud of his Zimbabwean roots, and being proud of his children.

Father John Joe Duffy said: "I often talked with Bob… he just had that friendliness, keeping fit and keeping well was so important to him, and he had that beautiful love for little Shauna."


Yesterday, the funeral of Hugh Kelly heard that he had given Robert and Shauna a lift to pick up the birthday cake for her mum.

Kind-hearted farmer Hugh, 59, was the oldest of the 10 victims of the blast.

Fr Duffy told mourners on Friday that Hugh was recently told he was in remission for cancer.

He told mourners: "He was someone who had determination, and he had lots of close scrapes, particularly in recent years with his cancer where he was up and down to Galway for treatment.

"He was battling that very well and just three weeks ago he was in Galway again for a check-up where he was in remission.

"That was such happy and good news."

The funerals of fashion student Jessica Gallagher, 24, and Celtic supporter Martin McGill, 49, were held in Creeslough on Tuesday, while a funeral Mass for Catherine O'Donnell, 39, and her 13-year-old son James Monaghan took place on Wednesday afternoon.

A service for Sydney native James O'Flaherty, 48, was held on Wednesday in Derrybeg.

The funeral of shop worker and mother-of-four Martina Martin, 49, took place in Creeslough on Thursday morning and a service for 14-year-old Leona Harper was held at St Mary's Church in Ramelton later that day.

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