'We are devastated' - Donegal community in shock over horrific killing of Irish woman in India
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'We are devastated' - Donegal community in shock over horrific killing of Irish woman in India

AN IRISH community has been left shocked and devastated by the horrific killing of local woman Danielle McLaughlin in India.

Tributes have been to the 'brightest star' as a fund was set up to support her grieving family.

The body of Ms McLaughlin, 28, was found early yesterday morning in a wooded spot in the Canacona area of Goa.

The young Irish woman, who was travelling on a British passport, was born in Glasgow, but raised in Buncrana, Co. Donegal.

She has also lived in Liveprool, having studied at a uinviersity in the city.

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Police have said Ms McLaughlin had been participating in Holi celebrations in the area with a friend prior to her death.

She had sustained injuries to her face, leading police to believe she was murdered.

“Considering the state in which the body was found, and the injuries visible on her face, we concluded that that it was a case of murder,” Canacona PI Filomeno Costa told Times of India.

Police have also said they sent her body to Goa Medical College for a post mortem and to establish if Ms McLaughlin had been sexually assaulted.

It's understood a man has been arrested for the alleged murder of the young Donegal woman.

Ms McLaughlin, who is survived by her mother and four young sisters, had posted on social media in February about her excitement at travelling to Goa "off on another adventure."

"Thank you to all my friends and family for making home so special and always looking after me," she said, "I am very grateful and the luckiest person I know...Off on another adventure..."

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Thank you to all my friends and family for making home so special and always looking after me. I am very grateful and the luckiest person I know...Off on another adventure...

Posted by Danielle Mc Laughlin on Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Those who knew Ms McLaughlin have paid tribute to the young woman and support her family.

In a statement following her death, the McLaughlin family have said they are "finding it very difficult."

"The family would like to express our thanks to all who have got in touch since receiving this awful news, as you can expect we are finding it very difficult at this trying time.

"Also thanks to the Irish and British consulate who along with Colin from the Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust and many friends who have assisted at this time.

"Danielle will be sadly missed by all in our household."

A close friend of Ms McLaughlin, who set up the GoFundMe account which has raised over €10,000 in three hours, paid tribute to the "beautiful and kind hearted" young lady.

"There is nothing I need to say about Danielle as anyone who knew her, knew that she was a beautiful and kind-hearted, funny young lady who loved life and was a loyal and devoted friend, sister and daughter.

"They say the brighest stars burn the quickest and no other analogy could describe Danielle's life better."

The Pumphouse Albert Dock, where Danielle worked while living in Liverpool and attending John Moore's University, paid tribute to the young woman this morning.

Very sad to hear we have lost one of our old team members Danielle McLaughlin in Goa this week. She was only 28. Goodbye Danielle. Deepest condolences to her family in Ireland.

Posted by Pumphouse Albert Dock on Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Fianna Fáil councillor for Buncrana Rena Donaghy told The Irish Post: "We are absolutely devastated here, the people are in shock. I live in a town where everybody knows everybody and Danielle's family was a very well-known family in the town.

"It's just horrific and so, so sad. It's hard to believe and it's hard to come to terms with an accident but this is even harder to comprehend, and the fact that she's so far from home makes it all the more difficult."

The Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has confirmed that the Irish Embassy in India is following up on the death of Ms McLaughlin in Goa.

A spokeswoman said: “It has been confirmed that the woman travelled to India using a British passport, so the local British consulate have the lead responsibility in terms of dealings with the Indian authorities.

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“The Irish Embassy is liaising closely with the British authorities and an Irish consular official is travelling from New Delhi to Goa today.”

A spokeswoman from the British Foreign Office said they are supporting Ms McLaughlin's family.

“We are supporting the family of a British-Irish woman following her death in Goa, India.

"Our thoughts are with them at this very difficult time. Indian police are conducting an investigation and we are in close contact with them,” a spokesperson said.

If you want to donate to the fund for Danielle McLaughlin, you can do so here.