Mickey Harte has revealed he won’t be attending the trial in Mauritius of the men accused of murdering his beloved daughter Michaela.
Instead, the GAA will put his heartache aside to lead his Tyrone team in their championship opener against Armagh at the end of the month.
Harte (56) is understood to have decided not to travel to the paradise island along with John McAreavey, where the grieving son-in-law spent his final days with Michaela on their honeymoon.
Two local men, Avinash Threebhowon and Sandip Moneea stand accused of killing 27-year-old Michaela, who was a teacher from Ballygawley, in January 2011.
Their trial in the Mauritian capital of Port Louis opens on May 22.
PRO of the County Board Damien Harvey yesterday told the Irish Daily Star that he understands Harte’s current focus is on his football.
“It’s my understanding that he will not be travelling to Mauritius for the trial. His focus is the football and I would expect that he will be leading us into the match.
“There is a management structure in place in the event that changes but knowing Mickey, he would be very keen to take Tyrone into the first match,” said Mr Harvey.
Tyrone County chairman Ciaran McLaughlin said they have remained supportive of Harte and his family since the tragedy struck.
“We have been talking to him and we are aware of his plans and are fully supportive of him and his family.”
Sources close to the Harte family are said to believe that Michaela’s passion for GAA football was so great that she would be supportive of her father’s resolve to lead his team.
Mickey recently signed a three year contract extension with Tyrone, which will see him lead the County team until 2015.
During the trial of the men accused of killing his wife, widow John McAreavey, 31, is expected to be called to give evidence.
The heartbroken man is expected to be present at a memorial Mass for Michaela tomorrow.