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PSNI quiz man over video mocking Michaela McAreavey after he voluntarily enters police station

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Michaela Harte celebrates with her father Mickey Harte after the 2005 All-Ireland football final between Tyrone and Kerry. Photo: Sportstfile

Michaela Harte celebrates with her father Mickey Harte after the 2005 All-Ireland football final between Tyrone and Kerry. Photo: Sportstfile

Michaela Harte celebrates with her father Mickey Harte after the 2005 All-Ireland football final between Tyrone and Kerry. Photo: Sportstfile

Police in Northern Ireland have spoken to one man in relation to an incident at an Orange Hall, during which a song mocking the murder of Michaela McAreavey was sung by a crowd of loyalists.

The man attended a police station in Dungannon, Co Tyrone yesterday voluntarily.

The footage, which has prompted widespread public outcry, was uploaded to Facebook Live by one of the men present and later a clipped version made its way into WhatsApp groups.

It shows a group of men singing a song mocking the 2011 murder of Mrs McAreavey (27), daughter of GAA manager Mickey Harte, while on honeymoon in Mauritius.

Other people are expected to be quizzed in the coming days.

A PSNI spokesperson confirmed: “One man attended voluntarily for interview in relation to this incident. Inquiries are continuing.”

To date, three men identified as appearing in the footage have apologised through JWB Consultancy, a PR company run by loyalist Jamie Bryson.

A statement issued on behalf of Richie Beattie yesterday apologised for his “peripheral involvement”, while also warning of the danger of “public witch-hunts”. Mr Bryson further said it is “time to draw a line under this issue”.

It said the footage was “unintentionally broadcast” and continued: “Mr Beattie, in laughing and failing to intervene to object to the lyrics, which he had never heard before, accepts his conduct was inexcusable and accordingly, reiterates his sincerest and deepest apology.

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“We as a society have marked our collective abhorrence of the incident in which those dreadful lyrics were sung and broadcast, but equally society must be mindful of the inherent dangers in public witch-hunts.”

It came as one minute’s standing round of applause was observed by everyone at the All-Ireland football qualifier between Armagh and Tyrone yesterday in memory of the young woman.

In a statement from JWB Consultancy to PA News on Friday, John Bell and Andrew McDade said it was a “matter of deep shame and regret” to have been involved in the singing.


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