An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has come under huge criticism ahead of his visit to Donegal next week.

There was widespread shock and anger after it emerged that the family of murdered Buncrana women Danielle McLaughlin has been refused a meeting with the Taoiseach when he visits the Inishowen town on Tuesday to open to the Cocktail Bridge.

A letter from the Taoiseach's department to Danielle's mother, said the Fine Gael would not meet the McLaughlin family as it 'was not possible and indeed probably not worthwhile' as she was not considered to be an Irish citizen.

Danielle (28) was raped and murdered during Holi Festival celebrations at a beach resort in Goa. She was travelling on a British passport at the time and had dual British-Irish citizenship as she was born in Glasgow.

The Department of the Taoiseach has since claimed the matter had been a misunderstanding.

Donegal representatives Senator Padraig Mac Lochlainn and Deputy Pat the Cope Gallagher have expressed their shock and anger at the Taoiseach's response.

Both have urged Leo Varadkar to meet with the McLaughlin next week.

"A media reply issued last night to save Government face on this matter, a media spin control but nothing was issued to the family either directly or indirectly – further proof that the sensitivities of the family do not figure or rate in the workings of this Taoiseach.

"I am flabbergast at how anyone could permit this to happen in their name," Deputy Gallagher said.

He added: “In my many years in political life, I never have witnessed a similar situation, on my own behalf and as Leas Cheann Comhairle of Dail Eireann, I apologise for the failings of the Irish political system, for no citizen of this state should be denied support or help in the way in which the Mc Laughlin family have been by An Taoiseach in this instance,”

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