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Council investigates employee’s alleged involvement in McAreavey video

admin | June 4, 2022

A council in Northern Ireland has launched an internal investigation over an employee’s alleged involvement in a video appearing to show a group of people mocking the murder of Michaela McAreavey. The video, which emerged on social media on Friday, has received widespread condemnation from across Northern Ireland and beyond, as well as across the political spectrum. In a statement, a spokesman for Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council said they will treat the matter with the “utmost seriousness”. “Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council has been made aware of disturbing social media content allegedly involving a council employee,” it said. “While we acknowledge that the behaviour undertaken was carried out in a private capacity, beyond the control of the council, we wish to reassure the public that we are treating this matter with the utmost seriousness, and have launched an internal investigation. “As an equal opportunities employer, such behaviour does not represent the values of our organisation. “We serve all members of the community with respect and dignity, and utterly condemn this type of defamatory and sectarian behaviour. “We would like to express our sincere sympathy to the McAreavey and Harte families at this distressing time. “An updated statement will be released in due course.” Michaela was a vessel of love, courage and dignity.Hate can hurt, but never win. ♥️ — John McAreavey (@john_mcareavey) June 3, 2022 Mrs McAreavey (27) was strangled in her room at the Legends Hotel in Mauritius on January 10th, 2011. The teacher, who had married John 10 days earlier, was attacked after she returned to her room alone and disturbed a burglary. No one has been convicted of murdering the daughter of Gaelic football manager Mickey Harte. In the social media video, a number of men appear to sing about the killing. Mr McAreavey also posted on social media in response to the video. “Michaela was a vessel of love, courage and dignity,” he tweeted. “Hate can hurt, but never win.” Apologies Hours after the video emerged, two men apologised for their involvement. In a statement issued through the PA news agency, John Bell and Andrew McDade offered an apology for their actions. Calling it a matter of “deep shame and regret”, the two men promised to write a formal letter of apology to the Harte and McAreavey families and to make a donation to a charity of their choice. Mr Bell and Mr McDade admitted it was an “offensive, vile and wholly abhorrent chant”. The PSNI has also confirmed it is investigating the contents of the video. A spokesman said: “Police are aware of the video posted online and are examining the content to determine if any offences may have been committed.” Linfield Football Club sacked a club volunteer allegedly involved in the video. In a statement, the club confirmed it had contacted a girls’ academy coach in relation to the video. The club said that his “voluntary association with the club has been terminated with immediate effect”. The statement called the video “offensive, sickening and deeply hurtful”, adding: “Linfield FC apologises to the Harte/McAreavey families for the hurt that has been caused to them by the offensive actions of one of our now former coaches.”  Michaela and John McAreavey during their honeymoon (Family handout/PA) Construction supplies company Norman Emerson Group also issued a statement to say it was looking into the alleged involvement of an employee and said a “full and thorough internal investigation” is under way. The Orange Order said an inquiry into the video had started. A Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland spokesman said: “The behaviour of those involved and their actions have no place in our society and certainly do not reflect the ethos of our organisation. “The Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland has instigated an inquiry into the incident and if any of those involved are found to be members of the institution, they will face disciplinary proceedings.”

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