Over 250 gather to pay tribute to beautiful Laura

MORE then 250 people attended a recent night to remember Portadown girl Laura Robinson, who was killed in a car crash 10 years ago, and to launch a song in her memory.

‘Beautiful Angel’ has been written by Portadown songwriter Susan Hewitt to mark the anniversary of Laura’s death and to raise funds for Crosskennan Lane Animal Sanctuary.

Laura (21), a talented horserider and singer, died when a drunk driver drove up the wrong side of the motorway, smashing into the car in which she and her friend Leigh Creaney were returning home from work in Belfast.

Last Saturday, Laura’s sister Louise was at Rushmere Shopping Centre to promote and sell CDs of the song, and tomorrow (Saturday) she will be at the Meadows Shopping Centre.

The anniversary evening in Tartaraghan church hall, which began with a barbecue and soft drinks reception, featured songs performed by Emma Woods and Laura’s cousin Zoe Robinson. Some of Laura’s poetry was read out by another cousin Alice DeStefano, who came from the South of France for the night, and there were speeches by Louise Robinson and her dad Noel.

Susan Hewitt was the pianist for the evening and after a look back at Laura’s life in pictures on the big screen, her friend Ruth Jess read out a very emotional poem.

Mr Ronnie Trouton, a road safety ambassador, was the compere and Louise is hoping that the launch of the CD will also raise road safety awareness, To this end, she is being helped by her partner, the British Touring Car Champion Colin Turkington.

In 2009/2010 Colin starred in an advert for the DoE under their banner Crashed Lives, stating, “I have witnessed first hand the devastation caused to families by dangerous driving - you don’t ever want to go there.”

Said Louise, “In this Colin is referring to me and my familiy’s loss of Laura. I would like to get the message out there coming into the summer months, that drink driving can destroy your life and others around you. One decision on one day can ruin the lives of others for ever.”

She added, “Laura was a very talented singer and songwriter who had written many songs but never got the chance to record them. The only recording that we have of her was made the night before her death. Laura recorded ‘The Power of Love’ on our family sound system with a budget mic in our front living room. This recording became one of the most important in our lives.”

Just months later the family released the song and donated the first of the funds to the animal sanctuary. Said Louise, “Crosskennan Lane Animal Sanctuary was such an obvious choice for us. Laura was one of those people who at times was more comfortable and content in the company of animals rather than people! She had been an equestrian enthusiast all her life, going from Iveagh Pony Club to showjumping around the country with me. Our lives revolved around horses and ponies.”

The CD, which costs £5 for the standard edition and £10 for the deluxe edition, is available from a number of local outlets. These include the Equestrian Store, Mahon Road; Annaghmore Saddlery; Litters Spar, Dungannon Road; M&W Meats, Scotch Street; Woolseys Mace, Moy Road; Wrights Spar, Dungannon Road; Short Cutz to Beauty, Scotch Street; Woods’ Centra, Dobbin Road; Woods’ SuperValu, Richhill; Woods’ Centra, Tandragee and Agnes and Cecil, Tandragee.

Home delivery of the CD is available from www.thelrproject.com or MP3 downloads are available from iTunes and all major online retailers.