Belfast Telegraph

Friday 26 December 2014

Harte tragedy: Loyalist’s gesture to Michaela McAreavey family hailed by church leader

John and Michaela McAreavey at the Giant's Causeway in north Antrim
John and Michaela McAreavey at the Giant's Causeway in north Antrim
Michaela McAreavey's husband John kisses her coffin as her remains are carried to St Malachy's Church in Ballygawley for her funeral mass.
Poignant message and flowers from Michaela McAreavey's family
Margaret Ritchie and Basil McCrea arrive for Michaela McAreavey's funeral
Order of Service funeral of Michaela McAreavey
Order of Service at funeral of Michaela McAreavey at St Malachy's Church
Irish President Mary McAlease and her husband Martin
Michaela McAreavey's cortege makes its way to the church
Michaela McAreavey's husband John wears his wedding ring as the cortege makes its way to the church
John McAreavey places the coffin of his wife Michaela McAreavey, 27, daughter of Tyrone Gaelic football boss Mickey Harte in the back of the hearse.
Irish president Mary McAleese attends the funeral of Michaele McAreavey.
The funeral cortege of Michaela McAreavey arrives at St Malachy's church outside Ballygawley.
Michaela McAreavey's remains arrive for burial at St Malachy's church, Ballygawley. She was killed whilst on honeymoon in Mauritius.
Michaela McAreavey's coffin is carried from her parents' home in Ballygawley
Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness attends the funeral of Michaela McAreavey.
Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams attends the funeral of Michaela McAreavey.
Michaela and John McAreavey outside Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France
Michaela McAreavey's coffin is carried from her parents' home in Ballygawley, Co Tyrone
John and Michaela McAreavey on their honeymoon
Tyrone Manager Mickey Harte at his daughter Michaela's wedding to John McAreavey
John and Michaela McAreavey, pictured here on a visit to the Giant's Causeway. The couple were on honeymoon in Mauritius when Michaela was murdered.
The remains of murdered honeymooner Michaela McAreavey return home last night from Mauritius.
The remains of murdered honeymooner Michaela McAreavey return home last night from Mauritius.
Former Tyrone Captain Peter Canavan (3rd left) joins members of the Errigal Ciaran GAA Club line the route as a hearse transporting the body of murdered Mauritius honeymooner Michaela McAreavey approaches in Ballygawley, Co Tyrone.
The body of Michaela McAreavey left George Best Belfast City airport in a hearse on Friday afternoon.
Michaela McAreavey's husband John, (foreground), waits for the hearse to leave Belfast city airport under police escort on the last leg of ehe journey home
Michaela's remains leave Victoria Hospital in Muiritius yesterday en route to the airport. 13th January 2011.
John McAreavey, husband of Michaela Harte leaving the mortuary at Victoria Hospital in Mauritius yesterday wearing her wedding ring and engagement ring around his neck
John McAreavey, husband of Michaela Harte leaving the mortuary at Victoria Hospital in Mauritius yesterday wearing her wedding ring and engagement ring around his neck
A hearse with the body of Michaela McAreavey, leaves George Best Belfast city airport. Friday January 14, 2011.
Michaela McAreavey on her wedding day
John McAreavey and wife Michaela Harte are seen on their wedding day
Michaela Harte Far Right front in St.Malachy's Primary School where she attended and later done her teaching placement..
Raj Theekoy
Suspect Avinash Treebhoowoon (29) is brought to Mapou Court, Port Louis Mauritius, Wednesday, Jan.12, 2011. The room attendant has been charged with the murder of Michaela McAreavey.
Suspect Sandip Moneea (41) covers his face as he is escorted to Mapou Court, Port Louis Mauritius, Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2011. The floor supervisor has been charged with the murder of Michaela McAreavey.
Raj Theekoy (33), faces a conspiracy charge in connection with the murder of Michaela McAreavey.
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
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.
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.

Church leader Rev Harold Good has said that a loyalist leader’s decision to travel to Michaela McAreavey’s family home to pay his respects was a “significant demonstration” of how far Northern Ireland has come.

Rev Good contacted former Red Hand Commando boss Winston ‘Winkie’ Rea at the weekend to thank him for making the journey to the Harte home in Tyrone.

Rea — who was jailed in the mid-Seventies for his role in the murder of two Catholics — told the Belfast Telegraph that Michaela’s murder affected him so much that he wanted to personally pay his respects to the Harte and McAreavey families.

As he queued to get into the house to pass on his condolences, Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness spotted him and came over to shake his hand. Inside the house he stood at Michaela's coffin with her father, Tyrone GAA boss Mickey Harte, and her husband John McAreavey.

Rev Good said that Rea’s gesture “demonstrates the intuitive desire of many people to do the right thing, to reach out as people and share our common humanity”.

“This is what changes hearts and minds. I think it was a very significant demonstration of how far we have moved on our journey and I wanted to commend Winkie Rea and thank him on behalf of our community for doing what would not have been an easy thing to do,” said Rev Good.

He added: “He did what was the right thing. He was doing it on behalf of a huge section of our community. He allowed himself to do what he knew himself was the right thing, no matter what anyone else says. That, to me, was so important.”

Meanwhile, one of the men charged with conspiring to murder Michaela is understood to have told detectives in Mauritius that the robbery in her room was planned.

Security officer Dassen Narrainen made a statement to officers from the Major Crime Investigation Team yesterday saying that the robbery of room 1025, where Michaela and her new husband were staying, was planned. He added that he had given murder accused Sandip Mooneea a master key to the room the day before the newlyweds checked in to the hotel.

However, when presented with the evidence against him, Moonea continued to deny any involvement in Michaela’s death.

In his statement to police he is understood to have said: “I’ve got nothing to do with the murder of Michaela Harte. I was not in room 1025 when she was killed.”

He claimed that he had been in another room “in the vicinity” of room 1025, but that he ran to the room when he heard something had happened there.

Mooneea was charged with murder after his co-accused Avinash Treebhoowoon told police that he pinned the victim down on the floor while Mooneea “strangled her”.

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