Belfast Telegraph

Varadkar 'sincerely regrets' murdered Donegal woman's family told she 'wasn't Irish'

Danielle McLaughlin was from Buncrana but had lived in Liverpool before travelling overseas (Family handout/PA)
Danielle McLaughlin was from Buncrana but had lived in Liverpool before travelling overseas (Family handout/PA)
Jonathan Bell

By Jonathan Bell

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said he "sincerely regrets the misunderstanding" after a murdered Donegal woman's family's appeals for help were rebuffed they were told, because she was "not an Irish citizen".

Danielle McLaughlin was found raped and strangled in the Goa region of India in March 2017. She had been travelling on a British passport.

In a letter to Ms McLaughlin's family sent from the Office of the Taoiseach, a request to meet with Mr Varadkar was declined.

They were told it was "probably not worthwhile as Danielle was not an Irish citizen".

The family spoke of their devastation and how Danielle, from Buncrana, was "proud" to be Irish.

She was only travelling on an British passport as she had lost her Irish papers and needed an urgent replacement. She only opted for a British passport as it was the quicker option at the time. She had been living in Liverpool.

The family said they wanted an apology and an acknowledgment from the Taoiseach that Danielle was Irish.

The Office of the Taoiseach was contacted for a comment by the Belfast Telegraph.

In a statement to the BBC it said: "The Taoiseach was aware of the tragic circumstances surrounding the death of Irish citizen Danielle McLaughlin and he extends his deepest sympathy to the family.

"Having now clarified the facts surrounding this case the department can confirm consular services will continue to be provided to Danielle's family.

Locals and expats gather for vigil after death of Danielle McLaughlin
Locals and expats gather for vigil after death of Danielle McLaughlin
Danielle McLaughin
Danielle McLaughlin was discovered dead in Canacona, a popular tourist area in the south of Goa

"The department sincerely regrets the misunderstanding that arose in this case."

The family have said they are meeting Mr Varadkar on Tuesday, September 11.

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