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Beautiful Michaela never hurt a soul, yet she’s still fair game for some loyalist louts

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06.06.2022

Sectarianism met misogyny on the outskirts of an east Belfast Orange hall last weekend, and what unfolded far surpassed the worst stereotype some regularly complain their opponents foist upon them.

A group of loyalists decided that a fitting way to celebrate Northern Ireland’s centenary was to glorify the strangulation of a young Catholic woman.

There was nothing about Michaela McAreavey or her murder which could in any way even begin to explain, let alone mitigate, this.

She was not a public or political figure. Nothing she ever said or did was controversial.

She was never hateful or unkind towards any individual or community. She was everything that those who sang about her clearly are not.

She did not even die in Northern Ireland. She was killed in Mauritius when she disturbed intruders who had broken into her hotel room.

That some loyalist reckoned this was good material for a song, and then penned one, is beyond me. That others learned the words and sang them with glee and gusto is almost incomprehensible.

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