She had been a gifted singer and avid songwriter. But, tragically, Laura Robinson never got the chance to record any material of her own.
Now, 10 years after the Portadown woman’s life was cut short when a drunk driver ploughed into her car, Laura’s family are hoping to keep her memory alive by releasing a charity tribute single.
“People remember Laura for what happened, not for who she was,” her younger sister Louise (27) told the Belfast Telegraph.
“We think this is the perfect opportunity to do something that she would love, and had she been here would have probably done herself.”
Laura was just 21 when a drunk driver, Celine Mullin, sped the wrong way down the fast lane of the M1 motorway and smashed into oncoming traffic on June 5, 2002. Her friend Leigh Creaney (19), who had been a passenger in the Renault Clio, was also killed.
Mullin, from Beragh in Co Tyrone, had been three-and-a-half times over the legal limit and was jailed for four years. However, under the current remission system, she served just two years behind bars.
At the time of the court case Laura’s parents, Noel and Wendy, said they did not believe the sentence was long enough and claimed the judge had missed an opportunity to send a message to drink-drivers.
The single being released by Laura’s family is entitled Beautiful Angel and was written by Co Armagh songwriter Susan Hewitt. She felt compelled to compose a tribute after hearing about the tragedy when she came into contact with the Robinsons last year.
Louise, who had worked with EMI records in London, added: “Laura was very shy and reserved but extremely caring. Laura was a very special girl in that she never put herself before anyone else. If Laura entered a room you were aware of her not because she spoke, but you could sense the warmth of her presence.
“She would have spent every minute of the day singing. She treasured the lyrics of her favourite songs like poetry but, tragically, she had only built up the confidence to perform about a year before she was killed.
“The song we are releasing has its own story.
“It tells a tale, and through default we have created something for her that we know Laura would have loved.
“We knew we had wanted to do something for the anniversary but we were not sure exactly what. When Susan presented us with the song it really got us moving,” she said.
The single will be launched this Tuesday and funds raised will be donated to the Crosskeenan Lane Animal Sanctuary. For more information log on to www.thelrproject.
Laura Robinson (21) and her 19-year-old friend Leigh Creaney were killed on June 5, 2002 when a drunk driver sped down the fast lane of the M1 and crashed into their Renault Clio. Celine Mullin was three-and-a-half times over the legal limit when she ploughed into the oncoming traffic. She was sentenced to four years in prison after a last-minute guilty plea in court. The Robinson family condemned the sentence.