Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 28 January 2015

Harte tragedy: Heartbroken Mickey's tribute to his 'beautiful girl' Michaela

A distraught Mickey Harte with son Michael.
A distraught Mickey Harte with son Michael.
Michaela Harte (left) in St.Malachy's Primary School where she attended as a pupil and later completed her teaching placement.
Michaela Harte in with Throphy in St.Malachy's Primary School where Michaela attended and later done her teaching placement
Michaela Harte Far Right front in St.Malachy's Primary School where she attended and later done her teaching placement..
Micheala Harte in fancy dress in St.Malachy's Primary School where she attended as a pupil and later completed her teaching placement..
A distraught Mickey Harte with sons Matthew (left) and Michael at their family home near Ballygawley
Michaela Harte after she had received a B.Ed at Queens University Belfast. (Picture taken in June 2006)
Balloons with the couple's names giving directions to St Malachy's Church outside Ballygwley where they recently got married
A distraught Mickey Harte at his family home near Ballygawley
Wedding flowers from the couple's recent marriage at St Malachy's Church outside Ballygawley
Alan Lewis - PhotopressBelfast.co.uk 11/1/2011Mandatory Credit - Picture by Justin KernoghanA distraught Mickey Harte with sons Matthew (left) and Michael at their family home near Ballygawley today.Michaela, the daughter of Tyrone gaelic football manager Mickey Harte was strangled, Mauritius police have said.Michaela McAreavey, 27, was found dead at the Legends hotel in Mauritius where she was staying while on honeymoon.The 27-year-old Irish woman had married John McAreavey, a member of Down's gaelic football team, on 30 December. He is not a suspect.Police in Mauritius intend to question six people about the killing later on Tuesday.
A wedding sign and balloons telling wedding guests directions to the church near the family home in Ballygawley
Mickey Harte (centre), is comforted at the family home outside Ballygawley in Co Tyrone
(From the left) Mickey Harte, John McAreavey, Michaela Harte, Bishop John McAreavey and Brendan McAreavey are seen on the wedding day of Michaela Harte and John McAreavey
Donegal Celtic and Cliftonville observe a minutes silence in respect of Michaela Harte at the game in west Belfast
Tyrone manager Mickey Harte and his daughter Michaella
Tyrone manager Mickey Harte and his daughter Michaela after the All Ireland Football Final 28/9/2003
Michaela Harte, daughter of Tyrone GAA manager Mickey Harte. Pic by Ian Magill. 23/3/10.Real Woman feature by Stephanie Bell.
Michaela Harte
Irish News handout of (left to right) Mickey Harte, John McAreavey, Michaela Harte, Bishop John McAreavey and Brendan McAreavey on the wedding day of Michaela Harte and John McAreavey at St. Malacheys Church Ballymacilrory on December 30, 2010. Michaela, the daughter of Tyrone GAA manager Mickey Harte was murdered in her hotel room, police in Mauritius confirmed today.
John McAreavey and wife Michaela Harte are seen on their wedding day
Tyrone manager Mickey Harte with his son David and daughter Michaela after his side's win at Croke Park
Tyrone GAA boss Mickey Harte graduates at Queens University pictured with his daughter Machela who also graduatedand became a Bachelor in Education
Michaela Harte appearing on the television programme the Late Late Show.
Tyrone manager Mickey Harte celebrates with his daughter Michaela and his son Matthew
John McAreavey and wife Michaela Harte are seen on their wedding day at St. Malacheys Church Ballymacilrory on December 30, 2010.
Mickey Harte, pictured in 2006 with his daughter Michaela

Mickey Harte has tried to sum up his sorrow and anguish over the murder of his daughter Michaela while on honeymoon.

Just 12 days after he walked her up the aisle on her wedding day he is planning her funeral.

"What a day she had on her wedding day. She was just radiant, a beautiful girl, and I just loved her to bits. So did her whole family. We are so devastated."

Mr Harte added: "This is the worst nightmare that anyone can imagine. If you think things can be bad, then you go beyond that because that is where we are."

Mr Harte said her death had left his family shattered. Michaela had been "a gem".

In his home near Ballygawley, Co Tyrone, he stood with two of his three sons, Matthew and Michael, and said: "This is too horrible to contemplate. We are just all devastated. It is the worst of the worst and our hearts are broken."

His son Mark is expected to arrive in Mauritius tomorrow with a brother of Michaela's husband, John McAreavey, who is a Down Gaelic footballer.

Friends who arrived at the Harte family home, just off the main road to Omagh, and who embraced Mr Harte and his wife Marian, included Down GAA legends Sean O'Neill and Maurice Hayes.

"We just loved our Michaela. She was such a good girl. Every father says that about their daughter, but I can say that without a shadow of doubt. She was a gem and we will always remember her," Mr Harte said.

"The McAreavey family are so special to us too. There is a special bond. John is a special lad. You have to be special if you're going to be Michaela's husband.

"John is out in Mauritius. He is isolated out there. It has been an awful time. Our hearts go out to him and I would ask everyone to please respect his privacy."

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The couple were on the second leg of their honeymoon after first flying out to Dubai.

Mr Harte left them at Dublin Airport the day after the marriage ceremony, which was held close to the family home.

He said the support from the community, throughout the GAA community, throughout the wider community in the North, throughout Ireland and across the water, was immense.

"We are grateful for that. Thank God for great people. Michaela was a lovely girl, a wonderful daughter, a brilliant sister for these boys and we will always treasure her.

"She was a beautiful girl. She couldn't be better, couldn't be nicer. God love her, we are so, so sorry," Mr Harte added.

"We are equally sorry for poor John her husband whom she adored. He adored her.

"They did not get so long to share their lives with each other. It is such a shame. Our hearts are broken.

"A lot of people have had this experience before. We have tried to empathise with them. But you can't get the feeling unless you have been there. And God save anybody having to go to this place.

"But we thank God for the people who are there, the support that is there, and the prayers that are there. We know they are coming in thick and fast, and it is so good at this time. We need that.

"And we need the bit of privacy now. This is how we feel. Many people have felt like this in the past and this is our day to bear the cross," he said.

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