Trial and errors

Court listens in stunned silence to letter to dead wife

This morning’s newspapers (above from this morning’s Irish Times) and radio bulletins appear to be dominated by the opening of the trial of a man called Joe O’Reilly for killing his wife. Before the discovery of her body about three years ago now, I did not know Rachel O’Reilly or Joe O’Reilly. Because she was murdered and the DPP believes there is a case against her former husband for the killing, we will now be treated to about six weeks of court reports and hand-wringing over the minutest details of their life. Guess what? I don’t care.

Someone from the north of this island has been saying on a blog I have been reading lately that we are obsessed by the time of the year when State examinations take place. Undoubtedly, it sells copy because parents are involved and there is a lot of stress for the students. I remember myself thinking that my Inter Cert (what’s a Junior Cert?) was going to decide the fate of the rest of my life. But why is there wall to wall coverage for the first week of these exams? It is because it means editors deciding over which pictures of smiling and exuberant young people (usually middle class girls, never Travellers or disabled people) will make it to today’s copy and frankly it is a good space filler. Methinks that court cases such as Joe O’Reilly’s murder trial fulfils many of the same functions.

Perhaps though we are such a small community of people that the reprinting of the details of the murder are one of the few ways that we have of collectively dealing with it? Is it perhaps that they are broadly speaking at least middle class and paper readership data merely reflect this voyeurism? Or are cases like this (remember the ‘Black Widow’ case a few year’s back) like Paul Reynolds’ crime reports on RTE news: politically-vacuous fillers that are meant to shock us but ultimately have little connection for the vast majority of us?

And another thing: last Friday RTE.ie reported that

A post mortem examination was due to be carried out on the body of a woman which was found at a house in Clonmel, Co Tipperary. The woman, who was in her 30s, was found…in the town yesterday afternoon.

I know a woman from Clonmel in her 30s but I never did find out the name of this particular woman. Anyone following up on this Paul?

Tomorrow, I’ll do frivolous, I promise.

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