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Man in court charged over the death of bride-to-be Laura Connolly

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Tragic: Laura Connolly was due to get married in September next year

Tragic: Laura Connolly was due to get married in September next year

Tragic: Laura Connolly was due to get married in September next year

A man has appeared in court charged with road traffic offences relating to a fatal hit-and-run collision in Donegal which claimed the life of Laura Connolly (34).

Just hours before she was killed, the mother of one had been out shopping for wedding dresses in Strabane.

Letterkenny District Court heard evidence of the arrest, charge and caution of Sean Connaughton (50), who has an address in Dundalk, Co Louth.

On Sunday afternoon, Connaughton was arrested on suspicion of a hit-and-run causing death. A detective garda said the accused made no reply when charged.

Yesterday, gardaí said Connaughton was charged with two related road traffic offences at Townparks, Lifford, on Sunday.

At around 2.45am gardaí and emergency services attended at the scene of a traffic collision on the N15 at Townparks.

A female pedestrian, named locally as Laura Connolly (34), was taken from the scene by ambulance to University Hospital Letterkenny where she was later pronounced dead. The matter was adjourned to October 18 and bail was granted on Connaughton’s own bond of €100.

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Meanwhile, the priest who will bury Ms Connolly has vowed to remember her on the day she was due to be married next year. She was due to marry her teenage sweetheart Joe McCullagh in September next year. Now instead of planning a wedding, her heartbroken family are preparing for her funeral.

Lifford parish priest Fr Colm O’Doherty revealed how Laura and Joe had come to see him about making arrangements for their big day.

“They were excited and I was naturally delighted for them,” he said. “They had chosen September of next year and I was very happy for them and their young son. But you just don’t know how things can change so quickly.”

Fr Colm revealed how he has made himself a promise to remember Laura and her family in a special way on what would have been the couple’s big day. “I don’t know what we will do but we will mark it in some special way. It’s the least we can do,” he said.

He also paid tribute to the community for the support they had shown Laura’s family: “I cannot speak highly enough of the community and what they have done since this awful tragedy.”


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