Belfast Telegraph

Monday 3 August 2015

Michaella McCollum Connolly: A trade fair assistant before Ibiza beckoned

BY CORMAC McQUINN AND HANNAH POPHAM

Published 13/08/2013 | 16:45

Michaella McCollum Connolly
Michaella McCollum Connolly
Michaella McCollum's mother Norah McCollum and sister Samantha McCollum vist the Peru prison
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, clutching the book 'Secrets About Life Every Woman Should Know: Ten principles for spiritual and emotional fulfillment' (AP Photo/Karel Navarro)
Michaella McCollum Connolly arrives to court for her sentencing in Callao, Peru (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)
Melissa Reid arrives for her sentencing at a court in Callao, Peru (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)
Melissa Reid and Michaella McCollum, both handcuffed, arrive 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)
Michaella McCollum, left, and Melissa Reid listen to a translator during their hearing at court in Callao, Peru (AP)
Police escort Melissa Reid, front, and Michaella McCollum to a hearing in Lima, Peru (AP)
Police escort Michaella McCollum Connolly and Melissa Reid from the National Police anti-drug headquarters in Peru (AP)
Michaella McCollum Connolly (left) and friend Melissa Reid in the airport after they were arrested
Michaella McCollum Connolly
Michaella McCollum Connolly
Michaella McCollum Connolly with rugby star Tommy Bowe while doing promotional work at an official Ulster Rugby event
Santa Monica female prison in Peru
Michaella McCollum Connolly with Brad Houston from England, pictured in Ibiza
Michaella McCollum Connolly with Brad Houston from England, pictured in Ibiza
Michaella McCollum Connolly with Brad Houston from England, pictured in Ibiza
Michaella McCollum Connolly
Belfast girl Michaella McCollum Connolly
Michaella McCollum Connolly
Jorge Chávez International Airport
Michaella McCollum Connolly
Michaella McCollum Connolly
Michaella McCollum Connolly
Michaella McCollum Connolly
Michaella McCollum Connolly with reality TV star Mark Wright at a promotional night hosted by Belfast's M Club
Michaella McCollum Connolly in one of her club hostess outfits

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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