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Peru drugs mule Michaella McCollum thanks everyone 'who had her back' while in jail

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Michaella McCollum

Michaella McCollum

Michaella McCollum

Convicted drug smuggler Michaella McCollum has thanked her supporters and everyone who "had my back" when she was in jail in South America.

In August, the Dungannon woman arrived back in Ireland after being released from prison in Peru for trying to smuggle cocaine out of the country.

The glamorous 24-year-old had spent less than three years behind bars with Scot, Melissa Reid (22).

The pair, known as the Peru Two, were arrested in August 2013 at Lima airport after they were found with £1.5m worth of cocaine hidden in packets of food. McCollum was ordered to spend the next six years of her sentence on parole in the city.

But after reports that she made a secret deal with Peruvian authorities, she was given permission to fly home.

She is believed to have spent her first night home last August partying and celebrating her release with family and friends in Co Tyrone.

Writing on Facebook at the weekend, McCollum stated: "Now that I have the chance I just want to thank everyone who has supported myself and family through these past few years.

"Please know I truly appreciate each one who cared and had my back.

"Thank you for all the sweet messages.

"I have not got reading them all just yet, or got a chance to reply to them, but I will definitely make a good attempt to get back to you all.

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Michaella McCollum Connolly in one of the Ibiza clubs where she worked as a dancer

Michaella McCollum Connolly in one of the Ibiza clubs where she worked as a dancer

Michaella McCollum Connolly in one of her club hostess outfits

Michaella McCollum Connolly in one of her club hostess outfits

Michaella McCollum Connolly with  Brad Houston from England

Michaella McCollum Connolly with Brad Houston from England

Michaella McCollum Connolly

Michaella McCollum Connolly

Michaella McCollum Connolly

Michaella McCollum Connolly

Michaella McCollum cradling her newborn twins

Michaella McCollum cradling her newborn twins

Michaella McCollum Connolly pictured during an interview with RTE in 2016 after being released on parole from a Peruvian prison

Michaella McCollum Connolly pictured during an interview with RTE in 2016 after being released on parole from a Peruvian 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 (AP Photo/Karel Navarro)

AP

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, 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)

AP

Michaella McCollum Connolly arrives to court for her sentencing in Callao, Peru (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)

Michaella McCollum Connolly arrives to court for her sentencing in Callao, Peru (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)

AP

Melissa Reid and Michaella McCollum, both handcuffed, arrive for a court hearing in Lima, Peru (AP Photo/Karel Navarro)

Melissa Reid and Michaella McCollum, both handcuffed, arrive for a court hearing in Lima, Peru (AP Photo/Karel Navarro)

AP

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)

AP

Michaella McCollum, left, and Melissa Reid listen to a translator during a hearing at court in Callao, Peru (AP)

Michaella McCollum, left, and Melissa Reid listen to a translator during a hearing at court in Callao, Peru (AP)

AP

Police escort Melissa Reid, front, and Michaella McCollum to a hearing in Lima, 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)

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 (left) and friend Melissa Reid in the airport after they were arrested

Michaella McCollum Connolly with rugby star Tommy Bowe while doing  promotional work at an official Ulster Rugby event

Michaella McCollum Connolly with rugby star Tommy Bowe while doing promotional work at an official Ulster Rugby event

Santa Monica female prison in Peru

Santa Monica female prison in Peru

AP

SECRET STASH: The drugs found in food packs in the girls’ luggage

SECRET STASH: The drugs found in food packs in the girls’ luggage

CAUGHT ON CAMERA: Michaella and Melissa caught on CCTV loading bags into a car in Peru

CAUGHT ON CAMERA: Michaella and Melissa caught on CCTV loading bags into a car in Peru

Michaella McCollum, centre, and Melissa Reid leave the court after being sentenced in Peru.

Michaella McCollum, centre, and Melissa Reid leave the court after being sentenced in Peru.

Lawyer Peter Madden, who represents Michaella McCollum, has claimed his client has suffered from a lack of food.

Lawyer Peter Madden, who represents Michaella McCollum, has claimed his client has suffered from a lack of food.

Belfast solicitor Peter Madden said Michaella McCollum and co-accused Melissa Reid have been well treated by the authorities

Belfast solicitor Peter Madden said Michaella McCollum and co-accused Melissa Reid have been well treated by the authorities

PA

Michaella McCollum, right, and Melissa Reid, left, were jailed in Peru last year after they admitted trying to smuggle cocaine worth 1.5 million pounds from Peru to Spain (AP)

Michaella McCollum, right, and Melissa Reid, left, were jailed in Peru last year after they admitted trying to smuggle cocaine worth 1.5 million pounds from Peru to Spain (AP)

Michaella McCollum's mother Norah McCollum and sister Samantha McCollum vist the Peru prison

Michaella McCollum's mother Norah McCollum and sister Samantha McCollum vist the Peru prison

Michaella McCollum Connolly with reality TV star Mark Wright at a promotional night hosted by Belfast's M Club

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 the Ibiza clubs where she worked as a dancer

"It has been a long ride to get where I am today but it just shows that when we fight hard enough for something we can achieve it.

"Something to have in mind when one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.

"Have a great weekend everyone. Lots of love."

McCollum posted a photograph of herself alongside the message.

The image shows the pouting former model's trademark dark hair once worn in a bun has been ditched for long blonde hair and heavy make-up.

Belfast Telegraph