Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 19 April 2014

Michaella McCollum Connolly: A trade fair assistant before Ibiza beckoned

Michaella McCollum Connolly, handcuffed, arrives for a court hearing, in Lima, Peru (AP Photo/Karel Navarro)
Michaella McCollum Connolly, handcuffed, arrives for a court hearing, in Lima, Peru (AP Photo/Karel Navarro)

She's the model and Ibiza nightclub hostess who has been jailed in Peru on suspicion of drug-trafficking -- but less than six months ago, Michaella McCollum Connolly was working at a trade show for older people in Cork.

In sharp contrast to her glamorous lifestyle on the Mediterranean island, Michaella (20) promoted beauty products on a stand at an Over-50s Show.

The photography student from Dungannon, Tyrone, was arrested at a Peruvian airport last week along with Scottish woman Melissa Reid (19), for allegedly trying to smuggle cocaine.

Michaella worked at the Over-50s Show run by the Senior Times publication in March.

The show, held in Cork City Hall, featured stands promoting travel, healthcare and financial services products, with Michaella promoting beauty products for older people.

Her involvement in the show came before she travelled to Ibiza, where she worked in the Bay Bar.

She vanished about two weeks ago before turning up in Peru after being arrested along with Ms Reid near Lima.

According to police in the South American country, Irish passport-holder Michaella was stopped with almost 5.8kg of cocaine in her luggage.

A similar amount was alleged to have been found in Ms Reid's baggage.

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