| 13.1°C Dublin

Death threat Driver arrested after road death of bride-to-be Laura Connolly warned by gardai his life is in danger

Sources said gardaí are carrying out extra patrols around the area as a result of the threats.

Close

Sean Connaughton was issued with an official GIM warning by gardaí

Sean Connaughton was issued with an official GIM warning by gardaí

Sean Connaughton was issued with an official GIM warning by gardaí

A man arrested after a young mother was knocked down and killed in Donegal has been told by gardaí that there is a threat to his life.

Sean Connaughton (50), who is originally from Donegal but has an address in Co. Louth, was arrested in relation to the incident which claimed the life of Laura Connolly after she was struck by a white van as she returned home from a night out with friends in Lifford on July 11.

Connaughton was arrested the following day in connection with the incident.

The father-of-two was charged with driving without a license and driving with no insurance at Townparks, Lifford on July 11 and later released on bail.

The court heard the charges were part of a wider investigation.

The case was adjourned until October 18.

Since his release gardaí have issued Connaughton with a Garda Information Message (GIM) which gardaí give to people when they receive credible intelligence that there is an active threat to their life.

As part of his bail conditions Connaughton was ordered to reside at an address he gave in Co. Louth.

Numerous security measures, including high wooden fences covering the entire perimeter of the front garden and multiple CCTV cameras, are in place at the Louth house.

The Sunday World called to the house this week but a woman said Connaughton wasn't there at the time and she did not know when he would return.

Close

Laura Connolly had just chosen her wedding dress on the day she died.

Laura Connolly had just chosen her wedding dress on the day she died.

Laura Connolly had just chosen her wedding dress on the day she died.

Sources said gardaí are carrying out extra patrols around the area as a result of the threats.

Connaughton is from Castlefinn in Donegal and opened a pub in the town three years ago but has also lived in Co. Louth in recent years.

He declined to comment when contacted by the Sunday World this week.

Sunday World Newsletter

Sign up for the latest news and updates

This field is required This field is required

Laura was a bride-to-be who had been out shopping for her wedding dress with mum Rosemary in Strabane, Co Tyrone on the day she died.

She was due to marry her long-time partner Joe McCullough next year and was eagerly anticipating the wedding.

After picking out her dress she went out to celebrate with her bridesmaids and pals and was on her way home when she was hit.

Last week her uncle Andy Connolly told the Sunday World, "She had been out celebrating finding her wedding dress, having a few drinks and they were going back to one of her friends' house when she stumbled and fell onto the road. The girls she was with tried to help her.

Close

Flowers left at the roadside for Laura Connolly.

Flowers left at the roadside for Laura Connolly.

Flowers left at the roadside for Laura Connolly.

He added: "Her brother James got to the scene and saw her, the state she was in on the road, he is distraught.

"They were like twins, he never left her coffin, he lay over it most of the time. This whole family is broken."

He said his niece was a lovely person who was the life and soul of the party. "She really was a girl who would have done anything for anyone," he said.

Andy stated the family had been left utterly devastated at her death and are finding it very difficult to come to terms with the way she died.

He said Joe and Laura, who have a 16-year-old son Jamie, were planning to have another child after they got married but following her death, Joe is in deep mourning and having breakdowns.

Hundreds of people gathered outside Laura's home in Lifford on the day of her funeral and walked with the funeral cortege to St Patrick's Church in Murlog, where the funeral mass took place.

Fr Colm O'Doherty described Laura's death as a "terrible tragedy" that had just as the light of dawn was coming into the sky.

"The news brought disbelief, shock, despair, anger, awful grief, terrible sadness and a real sense of bewilderment not just throughout the community at large, but especially to her loving family for whom these past few days must have seemed like an unreal nightmare," he said.

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices


Privacy