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Thursday 21 September 2017

Gilmore hints at garda mission to investigate unsolved murder

Brendan McMahon (left) is to express a 'strong protest while Eamon Gilmore said an urgent examination of the case was needed
Brendan McMahon (left) is to express a 'strong protest while Eamon Gilmore said an urgent examination of the case was needed

Fionnan Sheahan Political Editor

THE Irish Ambassador to Mauritius is to travel to the island in the "coming days" to lodge a formal complaint with the Mauritian government over the publication of photos of Michaela McAreavey's body.

Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore confirmed this last night as he left open the option of sending out gardai to investigate the murder -- the same as France did in the Sophie Toscan du Plantier case.

The Government also wants to know what the Mauritius authorities are doing to investigate the murder, following the acquittals last week.

Mr Gilmore said he was shocked by the publication of the photographs, which could not be considered acceptable in any circumstances.

He had spoken with John McAreavey and believed he was satisfied with the Irish response.

As there were no prosecutions in the case of Ms Toscan du Plantier, the French government sent its own investigator, magistrate Patrick Gachon, in 2008 to run an independent inquiry into the murder.

Mr Gilmore said a similar approach could be considered in this case.

Deputy Head of Mission at the Mauritian embassy in London, Mohamed Iqbal Latona, told the Irish Independent it would be a matter for the Minister for Home Affairs to decide on such a course of action.

Northern Ireland's First Minister Martin McGuinness is travelling to London on Thursday to meet with the Mauritian Ambassador to discuss the case.

Irish Ambassador to Mauritius, Brendan McMahon, will meet with the Mauritius Foreign Affairs Minister in the coming days to express a "strong protest".

Mr Gilmore said he was shocked at the Mauritian 'Sunday Times' publication of photos of the crime scene and Ms McAreavey's body.

"It shows a total lack of respect to both to her memory and the feelings of her family.''

The Tanaiste said he would also be inquiring about further progress in the murder probe.

"While we fully respect the court process and do not wish to do anything that might prejudice any further proceedings, I am very concerned that an urgent examination of the case be undertaken to ensure that justice will be seen to be done for Michaela, John and their families," he added.

Irish Independent

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