Mauritian newspaper Sunday Times published 12 black and white pictures, including one on its front page of Mrs Michaela McAreavey shortly after she was strangled to death on her honeymoon on January 10 last year. Inside, the paper carried other close-up photographs of her injuries and the bath at the luxury Legends Hotel where her body was found by her new husband, John McAreavey. On the front page there is a photograph of Mrs McAreavey taken after her death – under the headline “Exclusive”.
The Irish government has said the publication represented “a gross affront to human dignity” and said it would complain “in the strongest possible terms” to its Mauritian counterpart.
The publication follows the sensational acquittal on Thursday of two hotel workers who were accused of murdering the daughter of celebrated Tyrone Gaelic football manager Mickey Harte and dumping her body in the bath to wash off their fingerprints.
The prosecution alleged during the eight-week trial, attended by John McAreavey and his family, that Avinash Treebhoowoon and Sandip Moneea acted to stop the 27-year-old teacher and former beauty queen reporting them after she returned to her room to find them rifling through her purse.
The family of murdered honeymooner Michaela McAreavey has labelled the publication of crime scene photographs of her body as reprehensible.
A statement by members of the couple’s family said: “As the families struggle to come to terms with the result from the trial, this reprehensible and repugnant action by this newspaper is not only insensitive to their grief but it marks another low in the treatment of John, the two families and the dignity of Michaela.”
The Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore said the Irish Ambassador to Mauritius Brendan McMahon, is currently in Ireland, and he will meet him this morning to discuss this matter and agree “how to bring our concerns to the attention of the authorities in Mauritius at the highest levels and in the most effective way possible”.
Dick Ng Sui Wa, the Mauritian lawyer for John McAreavey said he will take up the issue with the country’s Director of Public Prosecutions and commissioner of police. He called for an inquiry into how the newspaper got hold of them.
Former hotel cleaners Avinash Treebhoowoon (32) and Sandip Moneea (43), who were unanimously acquitted on Thursday of the murder, are due to speak at a press conference today.