Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 29 November 2014

Michaela Harte McAreavey buried with final love note from husband John

Tyrone manager Mickey Harte with his son David and daughter Michaela after his side's win at Croke Park
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
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.
Irish president Mary McAleese attends the funeral of Michaele McAreavey.
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.
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.
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

Shattered John McAreavey’s parting gift to his murdered bride was a handwritten love letter he tucked into her hands as she lay in her coffin.

The distraught young widower penned his heartbreaking goodbye to his “angel” Michaela before placing it in the casket where she lay in her wedding dress.

The handwritten message was spotted by some of the mourners who turned up at Michaela’s family home last Saturday for her wake.

Those who did spot John’s letter could only see his opening line.

It read: “To my precious love ...”

Apart from John’s opening address to Michaela, the rest of the note’s contents remain secret between him and his tragic love who was strangled by thieves.

A few roses were also placed in Michaela’s coffin — and mourners at her wake couldn’t fail to spot the flowers, blood-red against her wedding dress.

The 27-year-old teacher had represented Ulster in the Rose of Tralee contest in 2004.

One woman at the wake who read the first line of John’s letter broke down in tears when she emerged from the family home in Ballygawley, Co Tyrone.

She wept: “Let me tell you ... it was utterly heartbreaking. Some of the fellas in there would be tough but they’re in tears now.

“Nobody is ashamed of it because it’s just so sad. Nobody cared if they were crying out loud or not. They can’t help it.”

The pair were devoted to each other and were known by friends as ‘Mic and Mac’ because they were so close.

The farewell gifts placed in Michaela's coffin are just two signs of her family’s anguish.

Sunday Life has spoken to family friends who say the Hartes have been utterly devastated by the beautiful teacher’s senseless murder in Mauritius.

Close friends of the deeply religious family say they are battling to understand why the tragedy happened.

A wreath from Michaela’s family has been placed at her fresh grave at St Malachy’s in Ballymacilroy – the same Tyrone church where Michaela wed Down GAA footballer John on December 30.

Attached to the flowers was a note that said: “With treasured and loving memories of Michaela, from mummy and daddy, brothers Mark, Michael and Matthew and sisters-in-law Josephine and Sinead.”

Accountant John, 26, and Michaela’s devastated parents Mickey and Marian were still too devastated last week to talk publicly about their loss.

But pals told Sunday Life of their grief.

They revealed that:

  • devastated John listened to songs played at his wedding as his wife’s body was brought home from Mauritius to Tyrone;
  • the widower cannot bear to move into the home he bought with Michaela before they went on honeymoon;
  • John is spending nights at Michaela’s parents home where she grew up; and
  • Michaela’s devout Catholic dad is struggling to make sense of the loss of his only daughter.

Tyrone GAA boss Mickey Harte told one close friend: “If my loss inspires parents to give their children one more hug before bed time, it’ll bring me some comfort.”

A fifth man has now been charged in connection with Michaela’s murder at the sun-drenched Legends resort in Mauritius.

The raven-haired Irish language teacher was strangled after she kissed her husband on the cheek by the pool of their hotel and went to her honeymoon suite to get a packet of Rich Tea biscuits to have with her cup of tea — only to disturb burglars who killed her.

In a touching nod to Michaela’s love for them, tea and a packet of her favourite brand of biscuits were brought to the altar at her funeral as one of the symbols of her life.

Cops suspect two of her attackers held down her arms while another throttled the life out of her as tears streamed down her tanned face.

John discovered her bikini-clad body half-submerged in the bathtub of their hotel bedroom just before 3pm on Monday January 10, with the water still running.

Police suspect that Michaela’s killers placed her body in the bath in an attempt to wash her corpse of DNA evidence or make her death look like a drowning.

John made an agonising 17-hour journey from Mauritius to Tyrone with his wife’s body four days after her murder.

When the hearse carrying her coffin pulled up at her parents’ home, John was spotted listening to headphones in a black Mercedes, his head tilted back and eyes closed.

Last night a pal of Michaela’s family said: “He was listening to songs that

were played at his wedding.

“It was to drown out everything else.”

It is understood John and Michaela’s favourite song was the modern folk ballad Caledonia — which contains the lines: “In these last few days I’ve been afraid, That I might drift away.”

The beautiful song brought tears to the eyes of mourners when it was sung by Irish singer Mary Black at Michaela’s funeral.

Co Down GAA footballer John helped shoulder his wife’s coffin at the ceremony, and tenderly kissed its cold wood as he carried her final resting place.

Another of his pals told Sunday Life yesterday: “John is numb. It hasn’t sunk in yet. Everyone keeps texting him telling him our thoughts are with him.

“He doesn’t go into much detail in his replies. He just says ‘Thanks’.

“He hasn’t talked about his feelings towards his wife’s killers or how he is trying to come to terms with her death.

“All the attention is just starting to die down and he was so caught up in all that he hasn’t had time to think.

“When he does, the pain will really start.”

Michaela’s heartbroken dad Mickey is set to make his first appearance since the tragedy at a GAA match today – at Healy Park for the Dr McKenna Cup tie between Tyrone and Donegal.

Other family members are also expected to attend the 2pm game to support him.



Source: Sunday Life

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