Monday 25 September 2017

Don't post anything that may hurt case, pleads uncle

Luke Byrne and Elaine Keogh

TRAGIC Jill Meagher's uncle has begged people to be responsible when writing online about the 29-year-old Co Louth woman's killing.

Michael McKeon warned that comments posted on social networking websites could harm the case against the man accused of her rape and murder.

"They should not post anything other than words of bereavement and condolence, and indeed people have done that in their thousands," he told the Irish Independent.

"People who use social media have to be responsible in how they use it."

His pleas came following a row between Facebook and the Australian police.

The website refused a police request to remove material potentially prejudicial to the case against Adrian Ernest Bayley (41), who has been charged with Jill's abduction, rape and murder.

Victoria Police Commissioner Ken Lay is seeking legal advice over Facebook's refusal to remove a specific page.

Hundreds of people have posted threatening messages about Bayley on the site, though many others have also been urging restraint in the name of a fair trial.

Police in Victoria state have threatened to investigate anyone making inappropriate comments about Bayley on social media websites.

"We are aware of the existence of a number of Facebook pages inciting hateful activity and offensive or threatening comments in relation to the accused in the Jill Meagher investigation," said a spokes-man.

"Any pages or posts that appear to be in breach of Victorian contempt laws will be reported to the E-Crime Squad for investigation."

Tributes were paid to Drogheda native Jill by town councillors at their meeting last night.

Cllr Frank Maher said: "Her untimely and dreadful death has led to an outpouring of grief both in Ireland and Australia."

Tributes were also paid to Jill's family. Cllr Richie Culhane said: "The manner in which they have conducted themselves in such awful circumstances is a credit to them."

Mayor of Drogheda Paul Bell said the local authority would do its best to "in a dignified way support Jill's family grieving in Australia and here".

Irish Independent

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