The mother of tragic Donegal woman Danielle McLaughlin has received an official apology from the office of Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. 

The Department of the Taoiseach has officially acknowledged an error in denying Danielle’s mother Andrea Brannigan a meeting with Mr Varadkar on the false grounds that her daughter was ‘not an Irish citizen’.

Andrea sought to highlight the lack of support she received when her 28-year-old daughter Danielle was murdered in India in March 2017. Danielle was travelling with a British passport, which led to the Taoiseach’s office telling Ms Brannigan to take her case to the British Foreign Office.

Following the widespread outcry over the unsympathetic letter issued on Friday, the meeting was granted and a second letter has been sent to Ms Branningan to acknowledge the error.

Today’s letter confirmed that Danielle was an Irish citizen and apologised for the distress caused.

Second letter from Department of the Taoiseach sent to Andrea Brannigan

The Taoiseach’s Assistant Private Secretary said: “I am 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.”

Ms Brannigan hoped to talk to the Taoiseach to call for extra government support from the Irish Embassy for bereaved families. Her request arose from the lack of support she said she received following her daughter’s death and during the trial of Danielle’s accused murderer.

The late Danielle Mc Laughlin

The Taoiseach’s Secretary said that Danielle’s case is being dealt with by the Indian and British authorities, as she was travelling with a British Passport. Danielle had dual British-Irish citizenship and had lived in Buncrana since she was two weeks old.

Ms Brannigan was told in the letter: “That said, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade 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.”

Ms Brannigan has been granted a private meeting with Mr Varadkar in Donegal on Tuesday.