Danielle McLaughlin’s body expected home this week.
The friends of the Buncrana woman murdered in Goa, India last week have paid tribute their “amazing, beautiful friend.”
The body of 28-years-old Danielle McLaughlin was discovered in Goa last Tuesday. Post mortem results revealed she was sexually assaulted and strangled and a man has been arrested in connection with her murder.
Danielle’s friend, Nicole Farren, also from Buncrana, who lives in Sydney, Australia, travelled to Goa last Friday in order to accompany her friend’s body home.
Nicole will be accompanied by another friend, Sheridan Smith, and they are due to make the journey back to Buncrana via Dublin in the coming days.
A solidarity meeting has since been held in Goa, with large numbers in attendance. Nicole read out a statement on behalf of the family and friends of the late Danielle and vowed to ensure that “justice is served.”
The statement read: “We can not even begin to comprehend what has happened to our amazing beautiful friend Danielle.
“It is horrific and such a tragic way to have departed this world. No one deserves the pain and suffering she endured. How anyone is capable of commiting a brutal act such as this to another human being is beyond our understanding.
“Danielle lived life to the fullest and was such a vibrant soul.
“She brought so much light, love and laughter with her wherever she went and to whomever she met along the way.
“On behalf of Danielle’s family and her many friends all over the globe, Sheridan and I have come to Goa to take her home as quickly as possible.
“Because Danielle’s voice has been silenced, we are here to represent her and make sure appropriate measures are taken and justice is served. We know that she would want us to speak up and fight for women all around the world.
“The amount of support that we have received from all over the world is so overwhelming. We cannot thank everyone enough, especially those who have helped give us all the courage to take this journey and who donated to Danielle’s Go Fund page so we can get her home.
“The Kevin Bell foundation is remarkable and have been with us every step of the way, along with the ladies from the British and Irish Embassys who we could not have done any of this with out.
“We would also like to thank the local community who have been amazing we understand there have been cases of tourists who have been murdered in the past which were quickly solved by the police but after the trial these criminals had been aquited, we sincerely hope that this will not be the case for our Danielle.
“We want to thank the local community here in Canncona who arranged this solidarity meeting we appreciate all your support.
“If anything, we hope that this will not only make India, but also the rest of the world, stand up and face the facts, that there is still so much injustice for women, that in some places we are second class citizens.
“Things need to change, Women need equal rights all over the world. They should be safe always and never be scared, have to live and die in fear.
“We will soon take Danielle home so that she can rest in peace and be surrounded by her immediate family, however, she now has a huge extended family all around the world who, we’re sure, will also be celebrating her life.
“My home, the Buncrana community are still in complete shock. We have felt that throughout this horrific experience the love and connection of our friends and family back home has been truly immense. We love you.
“We understand in communities like this that people like to stick together. They like to solve any problems themselves.
“We understand that there is a lot of pressure on local people to protect criminals operating in the area. They have a lot of power.
“Sometimes though it is time to stand up. To take a stand. And say no. Enough is enough.
“The criminals only have power if you are silent as a community. If only one or two dare speak. But if you stand up together. Many of you. And tell what you know. These criminals will lose their power over you. You are stronger than they are together.
“We want justice for Danielle. She deserves justice. We know that we all want the same. Whatever community we come from. Whatever our backgrounds. We all want the same thing. Justice. So let’s get it together.”
A special remembrance event will be held in Buncrana this Tuesday evening, March 21st, at 7.00 p.m.
Family and friends are encouraged to attend the event, which will include speeches, music and memories of Danielle.
One of the event organisers said: “Everyone is asked to bring a smile and some happy stories or memories of Dani.”