Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 27 December 2014

Harte tragedy: Michaela and John were planning their life together. That's now destroyed

Michaela Harte  after she had received a B.Ed at Queens University Belfast. (Picture taken in June 2006)
Michaela Harte after she had received a B.Ed at Queens University Belfast. (Picture taken in June 2006)
A distraught Mickey Harte with sons Matthew (left) and Michael at their family home near Ballygawley
A distraught Mickey Harte at his family home near Ballygawley
Balloons with the couple's names giving directions to St Malachy's Church outside Ballygwley where they recently got married
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

Michaela Harte and football made his world go around.

But John McAreavey faces a lonely journey back to Ireland with his wife's body in a coffin.

The couple will never grow old together. They have been robbed of the chance to raise a family together.

Michaela was always a bubbly girl but even family friend Tony Donnelly noticed her overflowing happiness on her wedding day.

"When I came out of the chapel after the wedding, I said 'Michaela, you smiled all during the ceremony'. And she said 'why not, it's the happiest day of my life'."

Mr Donnelly, who is assistant manager of the Tyrone senior football team said: "She brought real joy and happiness wherever she went, she was a real people's person.

"I know John's whole life revolved around football and Michaela. They were the two things he loved and talked about most," said Jim McAlinden, principal of St Malachy's school where Michaela attended as a child.

Mr McAlinden knows John from his own parish. "I remember when they were studying together, Michaela would travel with John to watch his games. He married the girl of his dreams. It is just devastating -- from the shock of losing Michaela, to the reality of how this happened.

"They were saving and planning and looking forward to their whole lives together. That's now destroyed."

In Laurence town, a few miles from Banbridge in Co Down, the community was deeply shocked. This was the place where Michaela and John had decided to settle into married life.

Bishop of Dromore John McAreavey married Michaela to his nephew. He said the young footballer was devastated by her death.

"She was the love of his life, absolutely and truly. He adored her and talked about her with such warmth.

"He loved everything about her: her faith, her personality, her love for things Gaelic and Irish, her sparkle. I have a sense that a light has gone out with the death of Michaela."

To leave a message of condolence to the Harte family please click here

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