A Summer in Ibiza. It may sound like paradise for a twenty year old looking to escape it all. This is how photography student Michaella McCollom felt when she set off to the party Island. Unfortunately for her this would not be the case. Like many Michaella spent her days sleeping off the hangover and her nights working then partying the night away.
Somewhere in between her work as a dancer and soaking up the Spanish sun Michaella fell in with the wrong people, people that would change her life forever.
Michaella was arrested in the Summer of 2013 in Lima airport, after being caught trying to smuggle 2 million euro of Cocaine into Spain, where it would be cut and exported throughout Europe.
Last Thursday Michaella was released from a Lima prison after serving 2 years of her 6 year and 8 year sentence.
“In life everyone makes mistakes…Doesn’t mean I’m a bad person.” Michaella said in her first interview since being arrested in 2013. Michaella explained how she made a rash decision, and that she was too naive to know better. She went on to say that she felt guilt, “I potentially could have filled Europe full of a lot of drugs. I could have potentially killed a lot of people, not directly but I could have caused a lot of harm to people.”
Social media lit up after this interview was broadcast on RTE last Sunday night. The public were not happy that Michaella didn’t seem to be genuinely remorseful. One woman took to Facebook to express her anger at the fact that Michaella seemed to use her time to “grow as a person”, and the she was grateful for the experience.
— RTÉ News (@rtenews) April 3, 2016
The twenty two year old has been under criticism as there have been rumours of a book deal, and that she may have been paid for the RTE interview. It looks like Michaella will have to stay in Peru to finish out her sentence but is…. Free, just two years after being caught for smuggling 2 million euro worth of Cocaine into mainland Europe.
It has now emerged that Michaella may have fabricated some of her answers given in the interview on Sunday night, including saying that she was pushed out of her home in Belfast due to sectarianism. As well as stating that it was quick decision to move away to Ibiza.
While much of Europe watches to see what Michaella’s next move will be, reaction at home has been far from sympathetic.
I asked some students of Michaella’s age what they thought of her getting out early and if they would ever think of smuggling drugs themselves?