Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 December 2014

Michaela funeral: Harte family grief and a people's sorrow as honeymoon murder bride buried

Michaela and John McAreavey outside Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France
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.
Mickey Harte, pictured in 2006 with his daughter Michaela

The grief and anguish of a heartbroken family and the sorrow of a people in mourning were palpable today at the funeral of honeymoon murder victim Michaela McAreavey Harte.

Mourners from the four corners of Ireland gathered in and around St Malachy's Church, Ballymacilroy - outside the Co Tyrone village of Ballygawley - to bid a poignant final farewell to the woman who was murdered on her honeymoon in Mauritius last week.

Grief-stricken husband John McAreavey buried his sweetheart in the graveyard beside the church where they married just days after Christmas.

Sporting, religious and political dignitaries were among those paying their respects to the tragic newlywed.

Mourners packed into St Malachy’s Church – where Michaela was married just 18 days earlier – and the surrounding area for one of the biggest funerals Tyrone has seen.

They included Irish President Mary McAleese, Cardinal Sean Brady and Martin McGuinness, the Deputy First Minister.

Michaela, the 27-year-old daughter of Tyrone boss Mickey Harte, was found strangled in her room at the luxury Legends Hotel where she had been on honeymoon.

Today’s service was led by the Bishop of Dromore, John McAreavey, who married Michaela and his nephew, also John McAreavey, on December 30.

Thousands of people had converged on Ballygawley from early morning.

The funeral cortege left the Harte family home at Glencull Road shortly after 11.30am.

The Harte and McAreavey families helped carry the coffin, with the Tyrone senior team and members of the local Errigal Ciaran GAA club forming a guard of honour along the mile-long journey.

Heartbroken relatives including Michaela’s husband, parents Mickey and Marian, and brothers Mattie, Michael and Mark attended.

Outside the church the coffin was flanked by Mr McAreavey’s team-mates from Tullylish GAC, and pupils from St Patrick’s Academy in Dungannon, where Michaela taught.

Requiem Mass was led by Bishop McAreavey, and his concelebrants included Archbishop Dermot Clifford, the patron of the GAA; parish priest Fr Michael Seery; and Fr Gerard McAleer, a life-long family friend and a former Tyrone selector.

Brian Dooher, Tyrone’s All-Ireland winning captain, and Johnnie McDermot, the chairman of Tullylish GAC, were both due to give scripture readings.

The Prayer of the Faithful was due to be recited by John Devine, another of the victorious Tyrone team; Aileen O’Hare, a teacher at St Patrick’s Academy and a close friend of Michaela; Susan Cullinan, her former Irish teacher, and Francie Downey, who had been groomsman at her wedding.

Following mass, the coffin was carried over the small stream to the adjoining cemetery for burial.

The families have requested that donations in lieu of flowers be made to charities set up in memory of two Tyrone gaelic footballers who also died in tragic circumstances — the Cormac McAnallen Trust and the Spirit of Paul McGirr fund.

Michaela’s body was brought home to Ballygawley, accompanied by her grief-stricken husband and family, amid emotional scenes on Friday night.

A public wake was held over the weekend, with people from across Ireland travelling to pass on their sympathies to her heartbroken relatives.

First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness were joined by Sports minister Nelson McCausland, and DUP MLAs Arlene Foster and Lord Morrow.

At one point yesterday, mourners were queuing for over an hour to pay their respects.

Such were the numbers wishing to sympathise that a park-and-ride facility from designated car parks was set up to take people to the house.

Three hotel workers have been charged in connection with Michaela’s death on the popular holiday island — two with murder and one with conspiracy to murder.

One of the murder accused, room attendant Avinash Treebhoowoon (29), has reportedly confessed to the killing.

His co-accused, floor supervisor Sandip Moneea (41), has made no admission.

It is understood Treebhoowoon admitted the crime to officers after the third accused, fellow room attendant Raj Theekoy (33), made a statement implicating him and Moneea.

Theekoy is charged with conspiracy because he allegedly passed along the corridor outside the room while the struggle was taking place but ignored Michaela’s screams and failed to report them.

Skin tissue found under her fingernails could prove crucial to the police case against the two accused with the results of DNA tests due in the coming days.













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