Taxi Talks: RTÉ’s interview with Michaella McCollum

Melissa Reid & Michaella McCollum - Photo Credit - The Mirror
Melissa Reid & Michaella McCollum - Photo Credit - The Mirror

This week my Taxi Talk was with Liam. Liam and I began talking about the weather (so unlike the Irish to talk about the weather I know), and the great stretch in the evenings!!!

I had been speaking to my family and friends that week about Michaella McCollum the Tyrone native, drug smuggler, who just had her first televised interview with RTE last week. So I said I’d ask Mr.Taxi Man his views on the interview.

Liam and I did not see eye to eye on the interview or Michaella’s current situation. Liam thought she was right to do the interview. He didn’t understand the backlash she was receiving. He said if she never did the interview she would be hated for it, and now that she has done the interview she was hated for that.  He also noted her age at the time and asked how a 20 year old could be blamed for such a crime. He said when he was 20 he hadn’t a clue about the world and would of done many things for easy money (he laughed and said maybe not smuggle a load of drugs though).

Mr.Taxi man has a 15 year old daughter and admitted that she would never do anything even close to the crime Michaella committed – but if she did he would urge her to go out and speak about what she had done and change people’s opinions. This man’s opinion was the same as my fathers, my father said he’d even forgive me if I did what Michaella McCollum had done (I won’t be testing it out don’t worry dad). Perhaps, I find it hard to side with this opinion as I’m lacking their fatherly sympathy.

I’m a similar age to Michaella and I would certainly not associated a “moment of madness” with smuggling nearly two million worth of cocaine abroad. At 20, a NORMAL “moment of madness” is buying that dress in River Island with your rent money or skipping class to head to the college bar!!

RTE have been blasted since the interview, people don’t believe the hard questions were asked by the interviewer. One anonymous viewer of the interview wrote an open letter to RTE. In this letter the women describes herself as the daughter “of a drug-addicted parent”, and she had hoped to have heard an apology through the RTE interview. This women wondered if Michaella knew “how many families are torn apart each year because of relatives with drug habits?” or “Do you know how many people die each year because of drug addiction?”

Michaella McCollum –   Source – RTE Twitter

This women made many valid points in her open letter. Her last point states “Finally, do you know how hard it is to decide not to be a drug mule? Do you know what you did was easy? Anyone can fly off to Ibiza and decide to get involved in criminal activities such as this. It was not in a moment of madness. It was a decision you made. Ordinary, hard-working people make decisions every day to get up and go to work, come home after an eight hour shift, tired and weary to the bone, and still manage to take care of their loved ones. They are the victims. They are the ones who make choices in “moments of madness” and they should be observed, mentioned and recognised.” (Read the full letter here.)

Everyone has had their say on this interview and Twitter exploded with #Michaella McCollum – here are some top tweets:




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