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Donegal collision Man charged with offences relating to alleged hit-and-run death of bride-to-be Laura Connolly

Letterkenny District Court heard evidence of the arrest, charge and caution of 50-year-old Sean Connaughton, who has an address in Dundalk, Co Louth

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Laura Connolly

Laura Connolly

Laura Connolly

A man has appeared in court charged with road traffic offences relating to a fatal hit-and-run collision in Donegal which claimed the life of Laura Connolly (34).

Letterkenny District Court heard evidence of the arrest, charge and caution of 50-year-old Sean Connaughton, who has an address in Dundalk, Co Louth.

On Sunday afternoon Mr Connaughton was arrested on suspicion of a hit-and-run causing death of serious injury.

A detective garda said Mr Connaughton said the accused made no reply when charged.

This afternoon Gardaí said Connaughton was charged with two related road traffic offences at Townparks, Lifford, on Sunday July 11, 2021.

At approximately 2:45am Gardaí and emergency services attended at the scene of a traffic collision on the N15 at Townparks, Lifford.

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Garda forensic officers at the scene of the fatal accident at Lifford, Co Donegal. Photo: NW NEwspix

Garda forensic officers at the scene of the fatal accident at Lifford, Co Donegal. Photo: NW NEwspix

Garda forensic officers at the scene of the fatal accident at Lifford, Co Donegal. Photo: NW NEwspix

A female pedestrian, named locally as Laura Connolly (34), was taken from the scene by Ambulance to University Hospital Letterkenny where she was later pronounced dead.

The accused appeared in court, but did not speak during the brief hearing.

There were no Garda objections to bail, but conditions were requested and granted by Judge Deirdre Gearty.

A file has been sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions for further directions.

The matter was adjourned to October 18 and bail was granted on Mr Connaughton’s own bond of €100.

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Meanwhile, the priest who will bury the tragic road victim has vowed to remember her on the day she was due to be married next year.

Ms Connolly was due to marry her teenage sweetheart Joe McCullagh in September next year.

Just hours before she was killed she had been out shopping for wedding dresses.

Now instead of planning a wedding, her heartbroken family are preparing for her funeral.

Parish priest of Lifford Fr Colm O'Doherty revealed how Laura and Joe had come to see him about making arrangements for their big day.

"They were excited and I was naturally delighted for them,” he said.

"They had chosen September of next year and I was very happy for them and their young son.

"But you just don't know how things can change so quickly.”

Fr Colm revealed how he has made himself a promise to remember Laura and her family in a special way on what would have been the couple's big day.

"I don't know what we will do but we will mark it in some special way. It's the least we can do," he said.

He paid tribute to the community of Lifford and the wider community in Donegal.

The popular priest has visited Laura's family on a number of occasions since the tragedy in the early hours of Sunday morning.

He said people sometimes showed the greatest support when they say nothing at all.

He added: "Laura's family have beem amazing considering all they have beem through.

"And the community have been so supportive. Sometimes there has been silence but just by being there is enough.

"Sometimes words are not needed and all we need to be is to be there for somebody.

"I cannot speak highly enough of the community and what they have done since this awful tragedy."

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