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Michaela TV show was too soon

There was something terribly uncomfortable about the documentary that went out on RTE1 about Michaela Harte.

I sat down to watch it and, after seeing the whole programme, I felt that I had eavesdropped on something so personal, so private that it left the worst taste in my mouth.

Michaela Harte, without a shadow of a doubt, was a very special woman. She was one of those girls who was in your class at school, who studied hard, who was great at sports, who was beautiful and who was genuinely kind.


The fact that her life ended in such a brutal, evil fashion made her passing so much more difficult for those who knew her to accept.

Her life was exceptional and her story would have made an incredible documentary -- in a year's time.

But what I witnessed was raw emotion. It's as if the makers of this programme went into an open wound and delved about at will. Why on earth would we want Michaela's husband, John McAreavey, to talk about the killing when it only happened three months ago and is still so obviously painful?

What would possess any filmmaker to not allow a family to grieve before they stick a camera in their face and ask them to recount stories of her life and her death?

And what would we learn apart from the fact that bad things happen to good people? We all know that. But how do good people get over bad things -- that is what makes for inspirational, intelligent, moving programme making.

John was dignified and honest. But he also seemed very understandably shattered, lost and broken.


To sit him down and ask him to recount finding Michaela in the bath, less than 120 days after the event, was to me wrong.

I find it hard to understand that someone didn't scream, "Stop! Give this man some time. Let him grieve in peace. We do not need to see this!"

Well, it's done now. Viewing figures are in and the broadcast bigwigs are happy, no doubt.

It has actually been praised by a number of church leaders.

Michaela will live on, bright and beautiful in the memories of those to whom she was so special and important.

This distressing documentary could have waited.