POLICE are looking into a video taken in an Orange hall that shows a group of guys mocking Michaela McAreavey’s death.
Last night, the PSNI said that it was looking into the content to see whether “any offences may have been committed.”
It comes as the Orange Order yesterday joined lawmakers from across the political spectrum in denouncing the behavior of those in the video, which is said to have been shot last weekend after Belfast’s centenary march.
It was branded as “utterly repulsive” by the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland in a statement.
Two of the individuals in the video have apologized for their acts.
Through the PA news agency, John Bell and Andrew McDade released a statement expressing “great humiliation and regret” and vowing to submit a formal letter of apology to the Harte and McAreavey families.
Linfield Football Club has fired a volunteer who was reportedly implicated in the video, and construction materials company Norman Emerson Group has published a statement saying it is investigating an employee’s potential involvement.
Mrs McAreavey was 27 years old when she was killed in her room at the Legends Hotel in Mauritius while on her wedding in 2011.
After returning to her room alone and disrupting a burglary, the instructor, who had married husband John 10 days before, was attacked.
No one has been found guilty of the death of former Tyrone manager Mickey Harte’s daughter.
The footage was branded as “beyond comprehension” by Taoiseach Micheál Martin, while Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald claimed those participating were “beyond disdain.” Michelle O’Neill, a party colleague, said she had called to John McAreavey to express “solidarity” with the families.
“Hate and sectarianism have no place in our society,” the Stormont head of Sinn Féin stated. “People are entitled to better. “Love will always triumph over hatred.”
Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, the DUP leader, called the video “vile” and “extremely painful” to Michaela McAreavey’s family.
Colum Eastwood, the SDLP’s leader, called it “totally sick,” while Justice Minister Naomi Long said she will raise the issue with the chief constable.
The film was described as “totally repugnant, nasty, and disgraceful” by Ulster Unionist leader Doug Beattie, and “beyond terrible” by TUV leader Jim Allister.
The video was deemed “reprehensible” by Secretary of State Brandon Lewis.
He claimed that the people implicated “do not have the support of Northern Ireland’s communities.”
The film in question depicts a group of people, largely men, drinking in an Orange hall on the fringes of east Belfast, believed to be in Dundonald. Orange banners are hung over the walls and Union flag bunting hangs from the ceiling.
While some witnesses gleefully laugh and clap, they chant a song that vividly parallels the circumstances of Mrs McAreavey’s murder.
The Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland announced that an investigation into the incidents had commenced, which it condemned “without reservation.”
“Those involved’s behavior and actions have no place in our society and certainly do not reflect our organization’s culture,” the statement read.
“The Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland has launched an investigation into the incident, and anyone found to be a member of the organization may face disciplinary action.”
Michelle Gildernew, a Sinn Féin MP, said she had reported the incident to the PSNI.