Thursday 22 November 2018

Taoiseach 'looking forward' to meeting family of murdered Danielle McLaughlin

Danielle McLaughlin. Photo: PA
Danielle McLaughlin. Photo: PA
Laura Larkin

Laura Larkin

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said he looks forward to apologising in person to the mother of Danielle McLaughlin - who was murdered in India - after his officials referred her to the UK Government for assistance.

He will meet with the young woman’s mother Andrea Brannigan this evening after his officials were forced to apologise to her for their initial response to a request to meet with the Fine Gael leader today.

Danielle McLaughlin on her travels
Danielle McLaughlin on her travels

Officials in his office responded to the request by saying the meeting was "probably not worthwhile", adding Danielle was not an Irish citizen.

Ms McLaughlin (28) from Buncrana, held dual nationality but grew up in Buncrana. She was travelling in India on a British passport last year when she was found dead in Goa. A 24-year-old local man, Vikat Bhagat, is currently on trial and is accused of raping and murdering Ms McLaughlin.

Ms McLaughlin was born in Scotland but held British-Irish citizenship.

Mr Varadkar said he looks forward to the meeting this afternoon and said his department has already issued an apology to the family.

"I look forward to taking the opportunity to apologise in person for the error made in my department and also to take the opportunity to offer my condolences on the death of her daughter, to hear from her about her experience and to talk about what assistance can give her,” he said.

Ms Brannigan wants to discuss the difficulties faced by families who lose loved ones abroad.

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