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Mother of murdered Irish woman describes her as 'a bright light, always singing and dancing'

The 28-year-old woman from Buncrana in Co Donegal was murdered last March.

28-year-old Danielle McLaughlin was raped and murdered on 13 March last year.
28-year-old Danielle McLaughlin was raped and murdered on 13 March last year.
Image: RTÉ

THE MOTHER OF an Irish woman who was murdered in the Goa area of India has spoken of her grief more than one year on.

28-year-old Danielle McLaughlin from Buncrana in Co Donegal was raped and murdered on 13 March last year. Her body was found in the Palolem area. One person, a 24-year-old man, has been charged in relation to her death, with a court date set for 6 April.

Speaking to RTÉ’s Brian O’Connell, Danielle’s mother Andrea Brannigan described her daughter as an “amazing person”.

“She was just a bright light because she was always dancing and chatting, she was loud, she was singing. She never really sat, she was sparkly and she’d so many friends and everybody loved her who got to know her.

“She always wanted to travel about, she never wanted to settle.”

20180309_202441 Danielle's mother described her as a bright light. Source: RTÉ

She said she worried about Danielle travelling, but she messaged her every day to update her on her adventures.

Andrea said she finds it hard to accept that the 28-year-old is never coming home.

“My heart wants to believe she’s going to walk through that door,” she said.

“Danielle was so trusting, she trusted everybody and all she ever showed others was kindness.”

I can’t describe [the] grief, really, it’s neverending. It’s like a piece of your heart’s been taken out, you’ve an arrow in your heart, it’s constant pain. You’ve the ache that you miss them. You want to hear them, you want to see them. I go to bed every night hoping that Danielle comes to me in a dream, just to even see her.

Danielle’s younger sister Jolene said the last year has been hard for her family.

“I did my Leaving Cert, but I couldn’t tell her that, I couldn’t tell her how I got on. I started travelling, something she always wanted me to do, she just wanted me out of this town to see more of the world like she did,”she said.

“There’s just so much stuff you want to tell her, but you can’t.”

A website has been set up to help the family meet their legal costs as they battle to find out what happened to Danielle.

Comments have been turned off as legal proceedings are ongoing.

Read: ‘We seek truth and justice’: Friends of Danielle McLaughlin make appeal for information>

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