The Orange Order have announced that they will investigate the video widely circulated on social media in the past few hours which shows a group of men singing a horrific song about the murder of Michaela McAreavey in 2011.
Reports suggest that the video was filmed in an Orange Hall.
McAreavey, the daughter of former Tyrone manager Mickey Harte, was murdered on her honeymoon in Mauritius in January 2011. She was attacked by burglars upon entering her room alone, and was strangled. Despite a trial and criminal investigation, there have been no convictions for the murder of Michaela McAreavey.
The Orange Order have condemned the abhorrent video, as have political representatives from all sides of the spectrum in Northern Ireland.
Michaela McAreavey: Shocking footage draws condemnation from all sides
The shocking footage appeared to show a gathering in an Orange Hall, where attendants sang a song about McAreavey's death in 2011. Lyrics contained violent imagery, as well as a derogatory reference to McAreavey's husband John.
In a statement released on Friday afternoon, the Orange Order said:
The video currently circulating on social media relating to the murder of Michaela McAreavey is utterly abhorrent and the Orange Institution condemns the content without reservation.
The behaviour of those involved and their actions have no place in our society and certainly do not reflect the ethos of our organisation.
The Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland has instigated an inquiry into the incident and if any of those involved are found to be members of the Institution, they will face disciplinary proceedings.
Sinn Féin vice president Michelle O'Neill added her voice to the chorus rightly condemning the footage, and said that she had spoken to McAreavey's family to express her sympathy.
I have spoken with @john_mcareavey to offer solidarity to both the McAreavey and Harte families. Hate and sectarianism have no place in our society. People deserve better. Love over hate will always win out.
— Michelle O’Neill (@moneillsf) June 3, 2022
Several Northern Irish politicans spoke out about their discomfort with the video, with Patsy McGlone of the SDLP calling the footage "about as base humanity as you go."
Unionist politicians were similarly vocal about the footage. The DUP, UUP, and TUV leaders all expressed their anger at the video, with DUP leader Doug Beattie saying:
I am sickened by the video of a centenary event being used to mock the murder of Michaela McAreavey. It is absolutely abhorrent, disgusting and shameful. Those involved should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves as should those who sat, listened and cheered. This must be investigated by the PSNI and also the Orange Order with action being taken against any of those responsible.
My thoughts are with the Harte and McAreavey families who should never ever have to put up with such sickening behaviour. I can assure them this is a minority and the overwhelming majority of Unionists will find this as deeply disgusting as I do.
Last summer, the Mauritian government announced that they would revisit the case surrounding Michaela McAreavey's murder. Two staff members of the hotel were tried for the murder, but were acquitted in 2012.