Andrea Brannigan, the mother of the late Danielle McLaughlin, has been told her request to meet Taoiseach Leo Varadkar will be granted.
The Taoiseach has reversed his office’s controversial refusal to meet with Ms Brannigan and discuss the tragic circumstances of her daughter’s murder in India last year.
Ms Brannigan confirmed that she received a phone call from Fine Gael Minister Joe McHugh today to tell her that she will get an opportunity to discuss key issues about her daughter’s case with Mr Varadkar.
However, she is still awaiting an apology after Government officials told her that it was “probably not worthwhile” to meet Mr Varadkar as her daughter was ‘not an Irish citizen’.
Speaking to Donegal Daily, Ms Brannigan said she was happy that she will have an audience with the Taoiseach and looks forward to raising her case calling for more support for Irish citizens when their loved ones die abroad.
Regarding the upcoming meeting, Ms Brannigan said: “I am happy, but I need something positive to come out of it.”
The Taoiseach’s reverse decision follows a letter from his office sent to Ms Brannigan on Friday. The letter refused a meeting and telling her to contact the British Foreign Secretary if she wanted to highlight the lack of support her family received when her daughter was tragically murdered.
There was an eruption of anger locally and nationally yesterday over the lack of compassion in the letter from the Taoiseach’s office.
Several local representatives wrote to the Taoiseach demanding that Ms Brannigan receive an apology, which came in the form of a media statement from a spokesperson last night.
The statement said that Department of the Taoiseach officials incorrectly concluded that Danielle was a British citizen because she was travelling on a British passport while in India.
“The Department sincerely regrets the misunderstanding that arose in this case,” a spokesperson said after the facts were clarified.
However, the Brannigan/McLaughlin family say they are still waiting on a personal apology.
In a Facebook post to the ‘Truth for Danielle’ page, they thanked the people who highlighted their case to the government, adding:
“We hope this has opened their eyes to make a change. This is such a positive step in the right direction for our cause.
“Danielle’s voice will not be silenced. We hope our government will support us and give us the help we have pleaded for since the beginning – Nearly 18 months later and we finally think we have made some progress in getting some help so we can finally grieve for our loss.
“However, we are still waiting on an apology given directly to us and not done through the media to keep up appearances.”