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Gran's pension cut after she scooped €2.6m in Lotto

A 78-year-old grandmother has had her pension cut off after winning €2.6m in the Lotto.

Kathleen McLaughlin, from Redcastle in Co Donegal, was the toast of the country when she won the money in December and vowed to spend some of her winnings on a new sofa -- in the January sales.

But the mother of seven and grandmother of 28 said she didn't realise the Government could cut off her OAP allowance.

"I never thought something like that would happen but it did," she admitted.

The Donegal woman did buy herself a black, leather sofa but hasn't had much of a chance to sit on it.

"The family usually use it and the cat always gets to sit on the recliner," she laughed.

Kathleen shared her winnings with sons and daughters Eileen, Catherine, Paul, Michael, Gerard, Shaun and DJ by paying off all their mortgages.

But she says she isn't letting the loss of her pension stop her from enjoying life.

"I am very happy now. I still have my bingo and I just love going to that and meeting my friends," she said.

"I always said all I wanted to do was to look after my family and that's what I have been able to do."

A spokesman for the Department of Social Protection confirmed non-contributory pensions such as Kathleen's are means-tested: "We cannot comment on individual cases but non-contributory pensions are means-tested and is calculated on a person's individual situation."

hnews@herald.ie


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