A video showing people singing a song mocking the brutal murder of Michaela McAreavey has been described as the “absolute lowest form of bigotry and sectarianism”.
Police in Northern Ireland are investigating the video which shows a gathering in what appears to be an Orange hall, with people of all ages mocking the murdered woman.
While the location of the video has not yet been verified, Orange Order banners and British flags can be seen in the background.
It is believed the gathering took place during the recent Northern Ireland centenary celebrations.
On Lunchtime Live this afternoon, SDLP Cllr Malachy Quinn said the video “made my blood boil”.
“It takes a lot to do that because, growing up in the North, we’re probably desensitised to a lot of sectarianism and that type of imagery,” he said.
“But this video, it just made my blood boil with complete anger. That feeling of pure anger that this can still go on in modern society.
“This is the lowest form of bigotry and sectarianism that I have ever witnessed.
“I’m sure there was probably worse during the Troubles and I don’t remember it but in my time as a public rep and my time just in general I have never seen something more disgusting in my life.”
The Orange Order has described the song as “utterly abhorrent” and said it “condemns the content without reservation.”
The group is carrying out an inquiry and pledged to discipline any members that were involved.
Meanwhile, Linfield football Club condemned the “offensive, sickening and deeply hurtful and insulting” song and ended its association with a coach identified as being in the video.
The PSNI is investigating whether any offences were committed.
Cllr Quinn said he was disgusted at the time and effort that went into it.
“Somebody sat down to make these lyrics up,” he said. “They took the time, found words that rhymed with each and went along with a tune.
“They sat down, wrote it and laughed to themselves probably and thought that’s fantastic I am going to sing it to somebody else.
“Worse than that people heard it, memorised it and then spread it around thinking this is great.
“You watch the video and you have people cheering and clapping and dancing along with the song and you just think to yourself how depraved do you have to be to be to get any sense of fun or joy from such a disgusting topic.”
Also on the show, Gerry Cunningham, a good friend of Michaela’s family, said they have been through a “dreadful ordeal” that is still ongoing.
He said the video makes him fear for Ireland’s future.
“Within the PUL (Protestant, Unionist, Loyalist) community there are a lot of people who genuinely would be aghast at this,” he said.
“But there is a rump of people out there who at best tolerate and at worst, endorse it and enjoy it.
“Let’s be clear, there are people in that video who walk amongst us. They are taking great glee in singing about the death of a young girl for no other reason that she was a Catholic and a GAA person.
“That is the strikingly difficult thing to get our heads around. That is so hard. When I think of it I despair. I really, really do because how are we going to get away from this?
“How are we going to improve our society when there are people who think like this, who write like this and who act like this?”
He said sectarianism has to be rooted out of Northern society but added, “I don’t know where that’s going to come from”.
Michaela McAreavey, the daughter of GAA coach Mickey Harte, was killed while on her honeymoon in Mauritius 2011.
Two hotel workers in Mauritius were acquitted of the 27-year-old's murder the following year.
Michaela's husband John has sharply criticised the trial, describing it as a "kangaroo court”.
The family remains hopeful they will eventually see someone brought to justice for the crime.
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