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Emotional scenes as Goa victim’s body reaches home in Ireland

Danielle McLaughlin’s body reached her home in Buncrana after a post mortem in Dublin and medical procedures in Belfast.

world Updated: Mar 28, 2017 22:00 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
Tributes left at the spot where Irish tourist Danielle McLaughlin’s body was found in Goa.
Tributes left at the spot where Irish tourist Danielle McLaughlin’s body was found in Goa.(AFP File)

There was much emotion and tears in the Irish seaside town of Buncrana in County Donegal when the body of Danielle McLaughlin reached on Monday evening after a second post mortem in Dublin and medical procedures in Belfast.

McLaughlin, 28, was found dead near Palolem beach in Goa on March 14, prompting renewed concern over the safety of foreign nationals at the popular holiday destination, where several have died in recent years.

The ‘garda’ (police) escorted the black hearse as local priest Francis Bradley said prayers inside her house, reports from Ireland said. Large gatherings are expected at vigils on Tuesday and Wednesday, before her funeral on Thursday in the Cockhill Chapel.

Goa police said Vikas Bhagat, 24, has been charged with her murder.

The McLaughlin family has called for justice for their daughter and sister. A crowd-funding campaign to raise €10,000 to meet the expenses for repatriation of the body from Goa and funeral expenses raised over €40,300.

A family spokesman said: “We call for justice from the Indian legal system and appeal to the Indian authorities for a full, diligent, transparent and open investigation into all aspects of this crime and have real faith that with their help full justice will be served and the truth known which will provide some small comfort to the family.

“Words and thoughts can do little at a time like this to help us understand how such an awful tragedy can happen and especially to someone so full of life and love as Danielle.”

Memorial cards distributed at last week’s vigil in Bucrana had smiling pictures of McLaughlin with words from one of her last posts on Facebook: “I am very grateful and the luckiest person I know....off on another adventure.”