Northern Ireland news

Family to hold private funeral for Euromillions' winner Margaret Loughrey

Euromillions' winner Margaret Loughrey was found dead at her home in Strabane on Thursday. Picture by Hugh Russell.
Seamus McKinney

A PRIVATE funeral is to be held for Co Tyrone EuroMillions winner, Margaret Loughrey who died unexpectedly on Thursday.

Ms Loughrey’s body was found in the living room of her home at Ballycolman Lane in Strabane.

Police said they were treating the death of the 56-year-old as sudden but not suspicious.

It is understood a private family funeral will take place in the coming days.

In 2013, Ms Loughrey became one of the biggest lottery winners in Ireland when she scooped the £27m EuroMillions jackpot after buying a lucky dip ticket on a whim.

The Strabane woman used her winnings to help family and friends and donated generously to charities. However, she later said she regretted winning the lottery and said her good fortune had brought misery into her life.

In the months and years following her lottery win, Ms Loughrey suffered a number of serious setbacks. Four months after her win, she was detained under the Mental Health (Northern Ireland) Order. She was later released from Gransha Hospital in Derry after her solicitors challenged the order.

In 2015, she was ordered to complete 150 hours of community service after she was convicted of assaulting a taxi driver in what was described as a “alcohol-fuelled” incident near her home. In 2018, she was ordered to pay her former personal assistant, Patrick Breslin £30,000 after he sued her for unfair dismissal.

Speaking in 2019, Ms Loughrey said she had been happy before winning the money but her win brought her “nothing but grief”.

“I don’t believe in religion but, if there is a hell, I have been in it. It has been that bad,” she said.

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