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Goa murder Mother of murdered Danielle McLaughlin expresses frustration at lack of support

If the trial continues at its current pace, sitting for about half an hour once a month, it will not be over for another seven years

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Danielle McLaughlin was found dead in Goa, India, in March 2017 (Family handout/PA)

Danielle McLaughlin was found dead in Goa, India, in March 2017 (Family handout/PA)

Danielle McLaughlin was found dead in Goa, India, in March 2017 (Family handout/PA)

The mother of Danielle McLaughlin from Donegal who was brutally raped and murdered while on holiday in India has described her frustration at the lack of support for her as a member of a victim's family

In March 2017, the body of the 28-year-old was found on an isolated stretch of open field between Agonda and Canacona beaches in south Goa, India.

She had been raped and murdered. A man named Vikat Bhagat was later charged with her murder, which he denies. His trial, which began four years ago in July 2017, will resume again in eight days’ time.

If the trial continues at its current pace, sitting for about half an hour once a month, it will not be over for another seven years.

Speaking to Newstalk this morning, Danielle’s mother Andrea Brannigan expressed her frustration at the lack of support for her as a member of the victim’s family.

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Murder suspect Vikat Bhagat

Murder suspect Vikat Bhagat

Murder suspect Vikat Bhagat

"I’ll be honest with you, the Irish embassy has been absolutely useless from day one," she said.

"Even regarding the bail hearing, that was on a Wednesday. They didn't contact me to tell me until the Thursday evening.

"I would like if I could view the court case, because I don’t know what it looks like. I would like to view it and I’ve asked numerous times can I view it and I even said I would sit in a Garda station so that it wouldn’t be passed on to anybody else and I’ve been told no."

Andrea said she had a bad feeling as Danielle had not been in contact all day on March 14.

“I thought she would do it eventually… that she was out drinking the day before because she was on holiday. I thought that it had just slipped her mind.

"That night there was a knock at the door. It was Danielle’s best friend and her mum and that’s when I knew there was something wrong.

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"I have never been told officially that Danielle was murdered, ever. I’m the one who told them all from the start,” she added.

“Because it was 8.30pm, I didn’t know what to do, so Danielle’s older sister called the guards and the guards came out and she sent them photographs in emails for them to try and find out.

“Papers were reporting it, but we never had it confirmed."

Andrea described her daughter as “very kind hearted”.

“She idolised her wee sisters,” she added. “They were her life and that’s why she would have contacted us every day, to check up on them. That was one the reasons I knew there was something wrong because she hadn't contacted us.

“Danielle was kind, she couldn't see the evil in people. She trusted everybody.”

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