Michaella McCollum Connolly gives first interview since release from prison

She has spent the last three years in Peru after being convicted for attempting to smuggle cocaine

Michaella McCollum Connolly, prison, Peru, drugs, cocaine, Melissa Reid,

Image: Karel Navarro Pando / AP/Press Association Images

Michaella McCollum Connolly admits that the decision she took was made in a "moment of madness"

McCollum Connolly was arrested in Lima airport and convicted in 2013 of trying to smuggle cocaine worth €1.8 million euro to Spain, along with Scottish national Melissa Reid. 

Earlier this week however, she was released from jail in Peru, but it remains unclear when she will be allowed to return home

In an interview, which was aired on RTE One on Sunday night, she admitted that her decision to attempt to smuggle the drugs was taken in a "moment of madness" and that it could have had far more serious repercussions. 

Roy Greenslade - media commentator and Professor of Journalism at City University in London - says it is still unclear who gave Michaella the drugs.

However he feels she was sincere during last nights TV appearance.

"You'd have to say that she has matured, and changed - and is very different from the woman I saw interviewed three years ago, soon after her arrest," Prof Greenslade told Pat Kenny.

"If one accepts it at face value, this is a new Michaella McCollum," he added.

In the interview, McCollum Connolly stated: "It doesn't make me a bad person, it gave me the opportunity to learn and to grow as a person."

"I knew it was coming. I knew I was going to get arrested, but I just couldn't find a way to walk away."

"[My Mum] thought I was dead, how was I supposed to tell her that I was in prison? Having to break that news is probably the hardest thing I've ever had to do in my life."

She stated that, had the drugs made their way back to Europe, "I could have potentially killed a lot of people, not directly, but I could have caused a lot of harm to people". 

The 23-year-old, who was originally sentenced to six years in jail, stated that she wants to prove that she's a good person and that, during her time in prison, she has "forgotten the things that everybody takes for granted in life. Seeing the sun, seeing the darkness, seeing the moon and the stars, things I haven’t seen in almost three years". 

Via Independent.ie