Two men who were implicated in a ‘totally heinous’ sectarian video which mocked the murder of Michaela McAreavey should be kicked out of the Orange Order, according to the Sunday Independent.
An internal investigation has already begun into John Bell and Andrew McDade, in which they are accused of discrediting the institution, a senior Orange Order source said yesterday.
In the video, men believed to be attending a Northern Ireland centenary celebration laughed, clapped, clapped and banged tables littered with beer cans as others sang the offensive song about the young woman’s murder 27 while on honeymoon in Mauritius in 2011.
The PSNI is expected to decide soon whether a crime has been committed under the Electronic Communications Act by posting the video online.
A person is guilty of an offense if he “transmits through a public communications network a message or other material which is extremely offensive”.
If investigators determine a crime has occurred, those involved and those who organized the event would likely be interviewed by officers.
Yesterday Ms McAreavey’s father, Mickey Harte, was in Cork, coaching the Louth footballers as they lost to Rebel County. He did not address the controversy during the post-match press conference at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.
Orange Order officials are spending Jubilee weekend trying to identify everyone featured in the video, which emerged on social media on Thursday.
If those responsible are identified as members, they will face disciplinary proceedings, with a senior source confirming that expulsion would be the “obvious result”.
A spokesperson for the Orange Order called the video “utterly abhorrent”.
On Friday, Bell and McDade – who posted the footage to Facebook Live – apologized for their actions in “profound shame and regret”. They said yesterday that they had received death threats.
The video, filmed in a room decorated with Orange Order banners and Union Flag pennants, was met with disgust across Northern Ireland, the Republic and elsewhere.
Ms McAreavey was assaulted when she returned to her hotel room alone and disturbed a burglary.
Reacting on social media on Friday night, Mr McAreavey said ‘hate can hurt, but never wins’ in response.
“Michaela was a vessel of love, courage and dignity. Hatred can hurt, but never wins,” the former Down GAA star said.
No one has been found guilty of Ms McAreavey’s murder.
Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon City Council said yesterday it had been made aware of ‘disturbing social media content allegedly involving a council worker’.
“While we recognize that the behavior undertaken was committed in a private capacity, outside the control of the council, we wish to reassure the public that we treat this matter with the utmost seriousness and have launched an internal investigation,” said a doorman. speech. .
“We would like to express our sincere sympathy to the McAreavey and Harte families at this difficult time.”
Craigavon-based sand and gravel company Norman Emerson Group also released a statement saying it was aware of “highly offensive social media content” posted by one of its employees. He said a “full and thorough internal investigation” was underway.
Linfield FC said a volunteer girls’ academy coach who was allegedly involved in the video had his contract terminated with immediate effect. The club described the video as “offensive, sickening and deeply hurtful” and apologized to the Harte and McAreavey families.
Sinn Féin vice-president Michelle O’Neill said ‘hate and bigotry have no place in our society’, while DUP leader Jeffrey Donaldson called the video ‘vile “.
Northern Ireland Justice Minister Naomi Long said she raised the video with PSNI Chief Constable Simon Byrne, calling it “depraved”.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin said the footage was “incomprehensible”.
“I think it speaks to bigotry and the degree of wickedness and hatred in society that needs to be addressed,” he said.