The public interest?
For the past number of weeks, we have been subjected to daily doses of the lurid details of a tragic murder trial on radio, television and across the print media. This trial has ended with the conviction of the accused. News reports contained highly intimate details of the case which was broadcast on news bulletins at all times of the day and night when even very young children were exposed to these reports.
It now appears that we are to endure a similar bombardment involving the tragic murder of a young girl which happened right here in Lucan last year. While there is undoubtedly a legitimate public interest in such cases I personally find myself wondering about the voyeuristic nature of some of the reporting. What we are dealing with here is pure human tragedy. In the Lucan case this tragedy which has taken a life has also devastated the families of all involved, and it seems that the pain inflicted is set to be compounded by the daily sordid details being aired in public. I had always imagined that cases involving children in particular were heard behind closed doors and without reporting, it is obviously not the case.
I find myself asking the question as to what purpose is served by exposing all of the detail of such cases to public view? We are all too well aware that the story behind this whole affair is an unpleasant and difficult one, but do we really need to hear chapter and verse about such sordid and painful events? In our social media age such reports are grist to the mill and fuel endless comment and speculation, much of which is unhelpful in any respect.
So I for one will be reaching for the remote control during the coming weeks, I have no wish to be bombarded with the lurid details of a tragic death, it’s enough to know that a young girl lost her life in tragic circumstances. My thoughts are with her grieving parents, and I can’t begin to imagine how difficult these weeks will be for them.
The accused also have families, families which must be devastated at this time and also enduring pain. I think we should pray for all those involved. Justice must be done, and hopefully it will in this case. May the Lord guide those chosen to serve on the jury, theirs is not an easy task, and may Ana rest in God’s peace.
Fr. Philip Curran