Monday 5 December 2016

Mother who lost son to drugs overdose has little sympathy for Michaella McCollum's claim that she was naive

Published 05/04/2016 | 09:52

A grieving mother, whose son died of a drugs overdose, says she has little sympathy for Michaella McCollum’s claim that she was “naïve” when she agreed to smuggle the drugs out of Peru.

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Annette Kinahan said she felt the controversial interview with Ms McCollum on RTE television on Sunday night was “very soft”.

The grieving mother described how families are devastated by drugs but yet drug dealers often don’t “pay the price”.

“My son died from a drugs overdose and there are other families devastated by drugs and I felt the interview was very soft.”

“Alright she had done three years. We don’t know if she’s going to be extradited back to her own country. But she’s coming home. My son will never come home and the people who sold him the drugs never paid any price.”

“I didn’t think there were any hard questions asked,” she said.

RTE has been blitzed with negative comments from viewers in relation to the controversial interview with drug mule Michaella McCollum.

The 23-year-old Tyrone woman's first interview since leaving jail in Peru has created a storm, with many criticising the state broadcaster's "soft" approach and "poor" line of questioning.

McCollum is interviewed on RTÉ. Photo: RTÉ
McCollum is interviewed on RTÉ. Photo: RTÉ

Last night RTE confirmed, after persistent questioning from the Herald, that the 83 calls and emails received so far were "largely negative feedback".

In relation to official complaints, RTE said: "We won't be in a position to confirm the number of official complaints until later in the week."

It also stated neither McCollum nor any member of her family was paid by RTE.

Ms Kinahan said she doubted Ms McCollum’s explanation that she had been naïve when she smuggled the drugs.

“She knew what she was doing, she didn’t live in a bubble,” she said as an audience member on RTE’s Claire Byrne Live last night.

“If she lived in any part of the world, she had Facebook, she had television, she had radio. We’ve all seen Banged Up Abroad and those programmes that highlight what happens to drug mules,” she said.

“She didn’t think of the consequences and to say she was naïve, was a bit lame in my opinion,” she said.

“She was getting paid to do something. She didn’t only find out that she was bringing home drugs,” she said.

“She was trying to make out that she was forced and she wasn’t,” she said.

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