Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore to meet ambassador over McAreavey crime scene photos

Monday 16 July 2012 16.51
Michaela McAreavey was killed while on honeymoon with her husband John
Michaela McAreavey was killed while on honeymoon with her husband John

Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore is to meet the Irish Ambassador
to Mauritius tomorrow morning after a newspaper there published photographs of the body of Michaela McAreavey.

Mrs McAreavey was killed while on honeymoon with her husband John at the Legends Hotel in Mauritius in January of last year.

Mr Gilmore said that he would be discussing with Mr McMahon, who is currently in Ireland, about how to bring Irish concerns to the attention of the Mauritian authorities at the highest levels and in the most effective way possible.

“The Government is determined to make a strong protest about this matter to the Government of Mauritius,” he said.

Around 12 black and white images of the crime scene were published today in a local Mauritius newspaper called 'Sunday Times'.

On the front page, there is a photograph of Mrs McAreavey taken after her death - under the headline 'Exclusive'.

Inside the paper, there are more images of the crime scene, including the hotel room and the bathroom.

There are also close up pictures of Mrs McAreavey's injuries.

Who gave the photos to the newspaper has yet to be established

Efforts to make contact with the paper today have so far proved unsuccessful.

The Mauritian lawyer for John McAreavey said he is to refer the publishing of the photographs to the country's DPP and Commissioner of the Police.

Speaking from Mauritius today, Mr Dick Ng Sui Wa said the photos should not have been published and there should be an inquiry as to how the newspaper got hold of the images.

Asked if their publication could harm the prospect of another trial, he said that could be possible but said his main concern at this moment is the impact the publication is having on Mrs McAreavey's family.

Earlier this week two men were acquitted of her murder after an eight-week trial.

The McAreavey and Harte families have issued a joint statement in response to the publication of the pictures.

In a statement, the spokesperson for the families said: “As the families struggle to come with the result from the trial - this action by the newspaper is not only insensitive to their grief but marks another low in the treatment of John, the two families and the dignity of Michaela.”

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said: "The publication of these images represents an appalling invasion of privacy and is a gross affront to human dignity. There are issues of fundamental human rights in question in relation to this deeply upsetting matter.

"This reprehensible act can only add to the pain and suffering of the McAreavey and Harte families and our thoughts and sympathies are again with them at this time.

"On behalf of the people of Ireland, the Government will be lodging a formal complaint in the strongest possible terms, with the Government of Mauritius."