Deputy Pat the Cope Gallagher, Leas Cheann Comhairle, has expressed his complete shock in the manner in which An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has dealt with the request from the family of the Late Danielle McLaughlin to meet with him while he visits the County next week.
Andrea Brannigan, the mother of the late Danielle McLaughlin, received a letter that prompted widespread shock and outrage on Friday in response to her request to meet the Taoiseach during his trip to Donegal next week.
Pat the Cope Gallagher said: “The mother and family of the late Danielle Mc Laughlin placed a request to meet with An Taoiseach recently, only to receive a reply this week stating due to the fact that Danielle was not an Irish citizen that he as Taoiseach would not be meeting with them.
“Absolute shock and consideration has erupted since receipt of the correspondence from the Oifig of An Taoiseach – the shocking manner in which this grieving family have been treated is impossible to put into words.
“I have spoken earlier today with Andrea, the mother of the late Danielle and my heart breaks with the emotion for her family, for what they have been put through over the past number of days by an insensitive, inappropriate and utterly cold reply which was issued to them by An Taoiseach.
“Moreover, a media reply issued last night to save Government face on this matter, a media spin control but nothing was issued to the family either directly or indirectly – further proof that the sensitivities of the family do not figure or rate in the workings of this Taoiseach. I am flabbergast at how anyone could permit this to happen in their name,” he said.
Pat the Cope also revealed this morning that he had written personally to the Taoiseach on the matter.
I am, to say the least, extremely disappointed to learn that Daniels mother Andrea was advised by your Department that she would be better served by contacting the British Foreign Office regarding Danielle’s murder in India.
I understand from media reports that your Department has now apologized and confirmed that Foreign Affairs would continue to provide consular services.
I have just spoken to Andrea who advises that she has not received any such confirmation from your Dept. I would respectfully suggest that immediate contact is made with Andrea clarifying the position in relation to media reports.
I would also strongly recommend that you meet with the family when in Buncrana next Tuesday.
I await confirmation from you on this matter at your earliest convenience.
Pat the Cope Gallagher
Leas Cheann Comhairle.
“Danielle tragically lost her life in India in March 2017 and a murder inquiry ensued by the Indian authorities,” he said.
“Danielle was a proud Irish citizen and comes from a family of deep Irish roots, always proud of their heritage and their nationality and the reply issued in the name of An Taoiseach to the family is unbelievable and, to say the least.”
Pat the Cope added: “I know the McLaughlin and Brannigan family extremely well and I genuinely feel so deeply for them having to deal with this correspondence issued from the leader of the Irish nation, done as it was in such an inhumane and insensitive manner.
“Danielle was just two weeks of age when she returned to Donegal and she remained here for a majority of her life and always travelled under her Irish Passport, proud as she was of her Irish parentage and upbringing.
“In my many years in political life, I never have witnessed a similar situation, on my own behalf and as Leas Cheann Comhairle of Dail Eireann, I apologise for the failings of the Irish political system, for no citizen of this state should be denied support or help in the way in which the Mc Laughlin family have been by An Taoiseach in this instance,” concluded Pat the Cope.Tags: