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Pictures are ‘a gross affront to Michaela’s dignity’ – Taoiseach

LAWYERS for tragic widower John McAreavey reacted with fury to the "revolting" pictures of his young bride’s corpse used by a newspaper in Mauritius. Some of the images show close-ups of Michaela's lifeless body, including the horrific injuries she sustained as she tried to fend off her killer.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny described the use of the pictures by the Mauritian Sunday Times as a “gross affront to human dignity”.

John McAreavey's lawyer Dick Sui Wa demanded that those behind the publication be “immediately arrested”.

He told the Herald: “They acted against all norms of journalism. It is simply revolting. The publication of these photos has caused widespread consternation and anger in Mauritius.

“Those responsible must be immediately arrested. I will do everything in my power to ensure this happens.”

Mr Sui Wa told the Herald that the photographs were an “affront to the dignity and privacy of the McAreavey and Harte families.

“How much more pain and hurt is this family expected to endure?” he furiously asked.

His comments came as Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore held talks with the Irish ambassador to Mauritius, Brendan McMahon, to discuss what action the Irish government can take.

A source close to the Labour leader told the Herald: “He is furious at what this newspaper has done and he will be demanding that this issue is brought to the highest level in the Mauritian government.”

The newspaper published a series of shocking images, including:

Four photographs of Michaela’s body, her eyes closed, wearing her bikini and a skirt.
A close-up of the injuries she sustained on her neck. A photograph of the empty bathtub where her lifeless body was discovered. A photograph showing the disarray in Room 1025 in the Legend's Hotel.

In a statement, the McAreavey and Harte families described the newspaper's actions as “reprehensible and repugnant”.

“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 statement added.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny was among a number of senior politicians to condemn the paper's decision.

“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,” he added.

Lawyers for the McAreavey family say they will also attempt to establish who leaked the photographs to the newspaper in question.