RIP | 

Donegal bride-to-be and mum Laura Connolly (34) killed in hit-and-run incident

Friends say Laura had been browsing for wedding dresses in nearby Strabane earlier in the day and had decided to go out with friends later that night.
Laura Connolly

Laura Connolly

Stephen Maguire

A woman killed following a hit-and-run in Co Donegal had been out window shopping for wedding dresses just a few hours earlier.

Laura Connolly (34), was killed after she was knocked down as she was returning from a night out with friends in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Family and friends of the bubbly mum-of-one from the border village of Lifford have posted tributes on social media all morning.

Laura’s devastated partner Joe McCullagh and the couple’s young son Jamie are being consoled by family and friends.

The couple, who were teenage sweethearts, were due to tie the knot next year according to friends.

Friends say Laura had been browsing for wedding dresses in nearby Strabane earlier in the day and had decided to go out with friends later that night.

Gardaí had issued an appeal for the driver involved in the incident to come forward.

Yesterday a man in his 40s was arrested under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act and is being questioned at Letterkenny Garda station.

Laura was returning home from a night out in the early hours of this morning and had just said goodbye to a friend as she walked towards Townspark, Lifford on the N15 road.

However, she was struck by a white van which failed to remain at the scene.

Laura was rushed by ambulance to Letterkenny University Hospital but was pronounced dead a short time later.

A post mortem is due to be held later.

The close-knit border town where Laura grew up has been left stunned by her tragic death.

One of Laura’s many friends, Strabane SDLP councillor Jason Barr said his heart “ached” at the news that his friend had been killed.

“My heart aches this morning at the devastating news of Laura Connolly.

“Laura was one of the most caring, outgoing, bubbly, mad as a box of frogs girls you could ever meet, If you wanted a laugh, Laura would have gave it to you.

“I called bingo where she lives last year and her nickname for me since then was (ALL The 4s). A young life taken too soon in such tragic circumstances.

“My whole-hearted condolences go out to her mum and dad, fiancé, son, siblings, the wider Connolly family circle and her close friends.

“May God give you all the strength to get through this. I would appeal to anyone with information to come forward, this family will need closure. Rest easy Laura.”

Laura's heartbroken uncle Andy Connolly had earlier appealed to whoever knocked her down or if anybody has any information about the incident to come forward.

He wrote on Facebook: “Anybody with any information in relation to the killing and hit and run of our happy go lucky bubbly niece Laura Connolly at the Lifford roundabout last night contact any of us with any details or even the proper authorities.

“This is a traumatic experience for everybody in our family a very massive shock, (sic) of a girl so full of life, a son and boyfriend father mother and brother all left with the(ir) world turned upside down...if you know who this small van killer is please get in touch.”

Andy added that the entire family will remember the better times they shared.

He added “Rip Laura. You'll be sorely missed always. I’ll always remember good aul laughs we had. Rest easy from your maddest uncle be no stone left unturned...please share xx.”

Local Lifford county councillor Gerry Crawford said Laura’s death had cast a shadow over the entire community.

“The terrible news reaching into this Community this morning has cast a shadow of sadness over a wide area.

“The passing of someone so young in Such tragic circumstances will be widely felt.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with her family loved ones and her many friends at this most difficult of times.”

A Garda forensic team spent the morning at the scene of the incident.

Gardaí at Letterkenny are appealing for witnesses.

Traffic diversions were put in place and the scene was preserved for examination by scenes of crime officers and Garda Forensic Collision Investigators.

Gardaí are appealing for any witnesses to the incident to come forward.

Investigating Gardaí are also appealing to those with video footage (including dashcam) from the scene and along this route to make it available to them.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Letterkenny Garda Station 074 9167116 or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111.

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