Creeslough victim Martina Martin ‘the ultimate mammy bear’, mourners hear

Creeslough Victim Martina Martin ‘The Ultimate Mammy Bear’, Mourners Hear
Father John Joe Duffy blesses the coffin of Martina Martin. Photo: PA
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By Gráinne Ní Aodha, PA

The funeral service for mother-of-four Martina Martin has heard that she was “the ultimate mammy bear” and a friendly face who worked at the heart of the Creeslough community.

Mrs Martin (49) was working in a shop when the service station explosion took place in the rural Co Donegal village.


The family walked behind the hearse as it arrived at St Michael’s Church in Creeslough.

As the service began, Mrs Martin’s daughter Grainne brought forward a family picture to the altar as a symbol to represent her mother.

Martina Martin
Martina Martin


Among the other symbols were a Harry Potter pillow, a coffee cup and Black Magic chocolates.

Parish priest Father John Joe Duffy told the congregation that Mrs Martin had “an abundance of love” and was “sensitive to the needs of others”.

She also had “a quick wit” and was a straight talker who “lived life to the full”, he said.

“Martina was a beautiful person. Her beauty inside radiated in that kind of cheeky, mischievous smile which flowed out to you when you met her.


“She was the voice of reason. When others were hurting, she entered into the situation.

“She was a straight talker who never minced her words. The kindest friend you could ever have, the life and soul of any night out.

“She didn’t dwell on the problems she was facing in any way – in her own situations of life or challenges of life – but put others first.”

Fr Duffy said that Mrs Martin’s friends described her as a “mother hen to the core”, and that her children described her as “the ultimate mammy bear”.


“She stuck up for you through thick and thin, protected you and kept you safe and taught you right from wrong,” the priest said.

The service also heard that she was a “friendly face” who worked in the village’s main shop.

“She certainly had an influence on others of which was inspirational, working in our local shop which was a hub at the very heart of our community.

“Each time you would go there, you met that friendly face.”


Family and mourners arrive at St Michael’s Church
Family and mourners arrive at St Michael’s Church. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA

Fr Duffy said that she was “in a very happy place” in the community.

“She loved Creeslough, she felt very much like home always in Creeslough, where your families originated from. She loved the people of this community, and each and every one of us who knew her very much loved her.

“If we were having a bad day, the quick wit would lift us up.

“If you picked up a bar of chocolate – somebody said to me, they remember fondly – and there was a bigger bar of chocolate available at the same price or a better bargain, she would say ‘You know you can get a bigger one?’ And that was Martina looking out for people.”

The service also heard that Mrs Martin was one of the frontline workers during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We have all of us, as a world, struggled through Covid. But she was one of the people who was on the front line serving her community together with her colleagues, who gave us such tremendous service through that time.

“The only place that was opened even when this church was closed was the shop, and she was there with you, her colleagues, at the front line, being a place of comfort, and being a place of consolation for us.”

The priest told the congregation that Creeslough had come together with determination to overcome the tragedy.

“Creeslough is a village, yes a small village, but it is now more than just that. It is now a word for determination, for resolve, for togetherness.

“And how important togetherness is. This tragedy has reignited within all of us, myself included, that each one of us are only as strong as the family we have around us, only as strong as the community that surrounds us.”

President Michael D Higgins and the Taoiseach’s aide-de-camp were among those attending the service.

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