independent

Sunday 18 August 2019

The final insult to Michaela's family

DEBORAH COLEMAN

THE NATION was united in its disgust this week in response to leaked photographs of the late Michaela McAreavey's body at the crime scene. The publication of such an image was the final insult to the young woman's husband and family who have been to hell and back since she was so cruelly taken from them while on honeymoon 18 months ago.

Publishing a dozen such photographs serves no purpose in terms of public interest and was completely unnecessary. As if enduring a trial which concluded without anyone held responsible for her murder wasn't enough this has served as one final tragic blow to those left behind.

The fact that there has been no justice for Michaela McAreavey will be even harder to accept now that a mockery has been made of the investigation as these confidential photos made it to the papers. If the shoe was on the other foot I don't believe this would happen in Ireland.

There has been so little respect shown for the life of the woman which was cut short so horrifically in Mauritius and now it feels like they are dancing on her grave.

The accused might be overjoyed to have been acquitted but there is absolutely nothing to be celebrated here. A life has still been taken and can never be replaced.

It is an insult to the McAreavey and Harte families to have those photographs made public property in such a vile way. Readers did not need to see the body of the deceased to understand what happened and they served no purpose only to upset and offend those close to her.

While one cannot even imagine the hurt they have caused to the families involved it is clear how the country as a whole feels. The sense of disgust is palpable and people are sickened that even a basic level of dignity was not afforded to Mrs. McAreavey even after her life was so cruelly taken.

At this stage it is unclear how the images were leaked but speculation that it was from within the police force has been disputed. Anyone with a shred of humility and decency would know how morally wrong it would be to circulate those shots. Were sordid suggestions made during the trial about the couple's sex life not upsetting enough?

While the leak was wrong to begin with the tabloid in question still didn't have to publish them and could have made a decision not to. This was not the case however and now they are out there on record as part of the overall story and cannot be unpublished.

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