‘I Note Danielle Was Not An Irish Citizen’


From top: Danielle McLaughlin, who was murdered in Goa, India in March, 2017; a letter this week from the Taoiseach’s office to Danielle’s mother, Andrea Brannigan

Columba writes:

I though you might like to post the reply received from the office of an Taoiseach today to the mother of Indian murder victim Danielle McLaughlin.

It states in the most callous way that she wasn’t an Irish citizen and shouldn’t bother contacting the Irish government and goes on to provide contact details of the British Foreign sec.

Danielle was indeed an Irish citizen, and as such an Irish passport holder. She was also a British citizen and passport holder.

She was born in Scotland and moved back to Donegal with her Irish mother as a young child, thus qualifying for both citizenships.

The Department of an Taoiseach doesn’t seem to know this, or indeed care about it at all….

Danielle McLaughlin’s Mother Shocked By Disgusting Letter From The Taoiseach (DonegalWoman)

Previously: In Goa

28 thoughts on “‘I Note Danielle Was Not An Irish Citizen’

  1. Panty Christ

    the State is a funny and callous thing. Where it starts and ends and who directs it is a riddle wrapped up in a mystery. That letter is a disgusting and blatant PFO reply.

  2. steve white

    While the reply is wrong, so is this “I wanted to discuss the fact that this case is going to take a long time and I was looking for a way to see if he (Varadkar) could intervene in any way,” Ms Brannigan said. “We have a trial every few weeks and we have to fund the legal costs ourselves. It is so slow that I want to ask the government to try and fast track it.

  3. Liquid Lunch Mulligan

    What’s the problem here? Did she take out Irish citizenship or not? Who cares if she qualified? It must be acted on. Can you clarify?

    What passport did she enter Goa on? Brit or Irish?

    Cheap shot at Varadkar and his Indian heritage coming next I suppose.

    1. Dub Spot

      That’s a pretty harsh judgment.

      The letter was incorrect, and also staggeringly badly phrased by Maura Duffy, Assistant Private Secretary to An Taoiseach given the circumstances. Broadsheet have pointlessly redacted the name when it’s now in the public domain (www.irishtimes.com)

      Danielle had dual citizenship, but yes, she did enter India on a British passport. She didn’t own an Irish passport at the time.

      Mother of Donegal woman murdered in India told to seek help from British


      “She was travelling with a British passport at the time and had dual British-Irish citizenship as she was born in Glasgow.”

      It’s hard to see what Varadkar can do regardless but express sympathy and redirect this to the Dept of Foreign Affairs and Trade to see what support might be offered as well as support being elicited from the Brits by Andrea Brannigan who is going about this the wrong way through social media.

      Why anyone wants a Brit passport anymore beats me. However, I doubt the alleged murderer gave a sh!t either way.

      RIP Danielle.

      1. Joan Burton

        Mother of Scottish woman who was eligible for an Irish passport but didn’t have one and entered India on a British passport is what I think you meant to say , either way surely the Brit’s have more pull in India than us ?

    2. Giggidygoo

      “Cheap shot at Varadkar and his Indian heritage coming next I suppose.“
      What would such a cheap shot actually read like?

    3. George

      If either of your parents is an Irish citizen born in Ireland you are automatically an Irish citizen without needing to apply for anything.

      1. Dub Spot

        So what? You still need a passport and visa to enter India. Danielle entered India using a British passport and therefore by default claimed their protection. This is a no-brainer.

  4. Freedom

    A load of me balls. The chances Varadkar ever even read this letter let alone composed a word of it are remote.

    Why doesn’t she contact foreign affairs or the Irish consulate in India? Typical Irish parish pump stuff

    1. gerry

      Not Parish pump stuff as he is a TD in Dublin and she was from Donegal. His private secretary would have had to sign off on this letter and given the highly sensitive nature of the request they would have checked with the Taoiseach before doing so.

    2. Martco

      agree regards your first paragraph.

      as for the rest….well all I know is that in times of distress you grab at whatever you can reach or think of grabbing at….it seems like a reasonable ask to me & unless there’s something I’m not seeing here this is just a poo computer says no response.

      1. Freedom

        Thanks martco

        No offence meant but you’re not hiding your age here. I agree in the bad old days this is how this stuff was handled, call the local TD and get a meeting with the big lads up in Dublin. However this is not a Taoiseach level issue in my opinion. It’s a consular issue.

  5. Ollie Cromwell

    An upsetting case which must be very difficult for the victim’s family.
    ” She had an Irish passport, but when she lost it she needed another quickly and applied for a British one in 2015.”
    Ultimately if you reach out to a country when you need a passport urgently that should be the country you should turn to if you find yourself in difficulty.
    I’m also slightly concerned with this notion that a ” citizen ” instantly expects to be able to have a meeting with a Prime Minister as and when they demand it.
    There are protocols in any jurisdiction be it Irish or English.
    Other than perhaps criticism of the insensitive wording of the response – welcome to bureaucracy – I’m not sure there’s a lot to see here.

  6. sparkilicious

    This case is obviously very sad and distressing for the family involved. However, I’m surprised by the extent to which there is a belief that the Irish government can and should intervene so heavily and at such a high level in this case. On the question of the obligations of the Irish authorities, the unfortunate girl was travelling on a British passport at the time. In other words, that was the citizenship she asserted and exercised at the material time. If her Irish passport had expired, as has been suggested, then she was not asserting anything other than British citizenship at the time. Therefore, it is hardly unreasonable of the Irish authorities to suggest her family seek the assistance of the UK authorities. Even if the citizenship question was not an issue, what exactly are the Irish authorities expected to do? The justice system in India is quite likely very slow but on what basis does the Irish government suggest that a case involving an Irish citizen jump the queue or receive special treatment? Is it expected that Leo Varadkar have a word in the ear of Narendra Modi? A richer country pushing a poorer country to quickly solve a criminal case… not necessarily the most conducive set of circumstances for a just resolution to the tragedy.

    1. George

      If either of your parents is an Irish citizen born in Ireland you are automatically an Irish citizen without needing to hold an Irish passport.

  7. Kay

    Was a uk man kidnapped and killed in Iraq a few years ago the Irish government and the media ran a huge campaign to try and free him. hypocrites

  8. small ads

    Ireland is going to look utterly ridiculous if Britain steps up to represent our murdered citizen after our great leader has sneered at the request for help from a grieving mother.

  9. Mary Farewell

    Protest being held outside the Radisson hotel in Letterkenny 2pm this comming Tuesday 11th, while Leo is present at a meeting. Spread the word.

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