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Taoiseach to meet with mother of Danielle McLaughlin after 'misunderstanding' over Irish citizenship

A letter from the Taoiseach’s office extended “sincere apologies” to Andrea Brannigan and her family.

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THE MOTHER OF Danielle McLaughlin, who was killed while travelling around India, is set to meet with the Taoiseach tomorrow, after Leo Varadkar’s office expressed “sincere apologies” for not referring to her as an Irish citizen in its correspondence.

Last week, the government said it regretted the “misunderstanding” that led to Andrea Brannigan, the mother of the 28-year-old, being refused a meeting with the Taoiseach in a letter that said in error it is “not possible and probably not worthwhile as I note Danielle was not an Irish citizen”.

The body of Danielle was found in a field near a beach in the south of Goa, India on 14 March of last year. A man was later charged with her rape and murder.

Danielle was travelling on a British passport, but was a dual British-Irish citizen and was raised in Buncrana, Co Donegal. 

Brannigan told Highland Radio today that she would be speaking to Varadkar when he visits Donegal for a number of engagements tomorrow.

“I received an email from the office,” she said. The government should have been aware of it from the start after they checked it out.

I was upset that they were denying her the fact of who she was. I’ve heard nothing from the Taoiseach’s office, just that he will meet me after all of his other engagements. 
I would like it in writing that my daughter is Irish. I want better support for the families that lose somebody abroad, that we’re not just left to deal with it alone. 

She added that she would be seeking an apology from Varadkar, and would hope for assistance in leading calls to expedite the trial of the man accused of murdering Danielle.

In a letter dated today from the office of An Taoiseach, his assistant private secretary said: “I’m very sorry that the correspondence was not dealt with as carefully as it should have been. Danielle was an Irish citizen. I regret that I incorrectly stated that she was not.

I wish to apologise for the distress caused to you and your family, which was never my intention… the Department of Foreign Affairs has confirmed that it will continue to support you through its consular service and via the Irish embassy in New Delhi, including through close contact with the British authorities.

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Sean Murray

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