Monday 22 July 2019

Keyboard warriors in Kriégel case really are idiots

Ana Kriegel
Ana Kriegel

Darragh Clifford - Straight Talking

The weather may be getting warmer, but the aftermath of the Ana Kriégel murder case continues to cast a dark, cold shadow across our country. How long this sad darkness lingers over the nation's soul is anyone's guess, but it is safe to say it is not going to lift anytime soon.

The tragic events surrounding the awful death of a 14-year-old girl have struck a chord in us all, for a multitude of reasons. We struggle to comprehend the utter brutality of the final moments of Ana's life. We struggle to comprehend how two boys would be capable of such a vile and violent crime.

We struggle to put ourselves in the shoes of Ana's parents, who sat through the court proceedings with such dignity as the harrowing evidence of their daughter's death unfolded.

And we struggle to understand what the parents of Boy A and Boy B must be going through as well as they try to figure out how their once innocent boys ended up carrying out such a horrible deed.

We struggle, but we move on. Justice has been served and Boy A and Boy B will serve whatever sentence deemed appropriate by Justice Paul McDermott.

But what of the so-called 'keyboard warriors' who took it upon themselves to identify Boy A and Boy B online? What about the brave vigilantes who knew better than the court system and felt compelled to contravene the Children's Act by sharing the murderers' identities across various social media channels.

Spare a thought for the innocent boy who was wrongly identified on social media as one of the murderers last week.

Mr Justice Michael White, who is presiding over contempt of court proceedings arising from the online publication of photographs and materials identifying the two boys and their families, has branded the culprits as 'idiots'. Never has a truer word being spoken.

The crimes committed by Boy A and Boy B were repulsive, of that there is no question. But who gives these social media warriors the right to go against the our justice system, simply because they believe the killers should be named and shamed? These idiots think they know better, but they most certainly do not.

No, the killers should absolutely not be named, regardless of the seriousness of the crime. The Children's Act, which prohibits the publication of names of minors involved in court proceedings - both victims and defendants - exists for good reason.

It prevents situations occurring like the family of Boy B being forced to go into hiding last week, because these idiots thought they knew better and revealed their identities.

Let's hope the gardai pursue these idiots with the full vigour of the law and make a point that such conduct should not and will not be tolerated.

A bit of advice for the keyboard warriors: instead of reaching for your phone in a rush to pass judgement, put your phone down, get outside, go for a walk and maybe light a candle in Ana's memory. In other words, do something worthwhile with your time.

Enniscorthy Guardian