The best friend of Danielle McLaughlin has made an impassioned statement in response to her murder.
Donegal woman Nicole Farren was one of the friends who has travelled to Goa in India to bring Danielle’s body home to Donegal.
The young tourist’s life was cut short when she was murdered on a beach in the Goa district on Monday night last week. News of the 28-year-old’s death and the circumstances of her murder have left the Inishowen community devastated.
Nicole visited Canacona to speak at a gathering to demand justice for Danielle. She was accompanied by three other friends of Danielle, and together they paid tribute to their friend and thanked the communities all over the world who have supported Danielle’s family since her death.
Nicole highlighted serious issues faced by women all over the world and said that the ‘brutal act’ her friend endured was beyond comprehension. She made a call to action for men and women to stand up against criminals in the district and for people all over the world to speak out against gender inequality.
“It is horrific and such a tragic way to have departed this world. No one deserves the pain and suffering she endured. How anyone is capable of committing a brutal act such as this to another human being is beyond our understanding,” she said.
The friends celebrated Danielle’s ‘vibrant soul’ and highlighted the positive impact she had with every person she met on her life journey.
Nicole said: “Danielle lived life to the fullest and was such a vibrant soul. She brought so much light, love and laughter with her wherever she went and to whomever she met along the way.
“On behalf of Danielle’s family and her many friends all over the globe, Sherridan and I have come to Goa to take her home as quickly as possible.
“Because Danielle’s voice has been silenced, we are here to represent her and make sure appropriate measures are taken and justice is served.
“We know that she would want us to speak up and fight for women all around the world.
“The amount of support that we have received from all over the world is so overwhelming. We cannot thank everyone enough, especially those who have helped give us all the courage to take this journey and who donated to Danielle’s Go Fund page so we can get her home.
“The Kevin Bell foundation is remarkable and have been with us every step of the way, along with the ladies from the British and Irish Embassiess who we could not have done any of this with out.
“We would also like to thank the local community who have been amazing we understand there have been cases of tourists who have been murdered in the past which were quickly solved by the police but after the trial these criminals had been aquited, we sincerely hope that this will not be the case for our Danielle.
“We want to thank the local community here in Canncona who arranged this solidarity meeting we appreciate all your support.
“If anything, we hope that this will not only make India but also the rest of the world stand up and face the facts, that there is still so much injustice for women, that in some places we are second class citizens.
“Things need to change, women need equal rights all over the world. They should be safe always and never be scared, have to live and die in fear.
“We will soon take Danielle home so that she can rest in peace and be surrounded by her immediate family, however she now has a huge extended family all around the world who I’m sure will also be celebrating her life.
“My home, the Buncrana community in Donegal, Ireland, are still in complete shock. We have felt that throughout this horrific experience the love and connection of our friends and family back home has been truly immense. We love you.
“We understand in communities like this that people like to stick together. They like to solve any problems themselves.
“We understand that there is a lot of pressure on local people to protect criminals operating in the area. They have a lot of power.
“Sometimes though it is time to stand up. To take a stand. And say no. Enough is enough.
“The criminals only have power if you are silent as a community. If only one or two dare speak. But if you stand up together. Many of you. And tell what you know. These criminals will lose their power over you. You are stronger than they are together.
“We want justice for Danielle. She deserves justice. We know that we all want the same. Whatever community we come from. Whatever our backgrounds. We all want the same thing. Justice. So let’s get it together,” she concluded.
Remembering Danielle in Buncrana
A memorial ceremony has been planned in Buncrana tomorrow for local friends and family to honour the memory of Danielle.
On Tuesday, March 21st, a remembrance ceremony is planned at 7pm at the shore front commonly known as the Stone Jug in Buncrana.
Organisers Louise Mc Menamin and Christy Duffy have planned for locals to contribute kind words about Danielle and have asked people to bring special tokens and tributes including photos, candles and Chinese lanterns.
“There will be a few short speeches and everyone is asked to bring a candle and/or a Chinese lantern (it’s to honour Danielle and she would have loved this).
“There will be some great music by String Empire and everyone is asked to bring a smile and some happy stories/memories of Dani.
“We will also have a table with some recent and not so recent pictures for remembrance sake and please if you have any to add, bring them along. Hope to see you there,” Louise and Christy said.