Belfast Telegraph

Mickey Harte: I still miss tragic Michaela every day

By staff reporter

Mickey Harte is set to speak on television for the first time about the murder of his daughter, saying he still feels a "special connection" with Michaela.

The Tyrone GAA football manager has given an interview to a new UTV Ireland show to be screened in the Republic tonight.

Michaela was murdered while on honeymoon in Mauritius with her husband John McAreavey on January 10, 2011.

After they had eaten lunch at the five-star Legends hotel in the resort of Grand Gaube, the former beauty queen returned to their room to get biscuits to share with John over a cup of tea.

Her devastated husband discovered her body in the bathtub of their suite. They had been married for only 11 days.

Mr Harte spoke openly to presenter Pat Kenny on the debut of his In The Round show about his heartache and how his strong religious faith continues to help him cope with his loss on a day-to-day basis.

"I still miss her so, so much and in human terms, your heart is broken," he said. "But, on a higher level, I just feel there is a connection - a special connection - and I can only just believe that that's the work of God and the work of Michaela."

Two hotel employees - Sandip Moneea and Avinash Treebhoowoon - were acquitted of murder charges after a seven-week trial in Mauritius in 2012.

The murder investigation now appears to have ground to a halt.

Since Michaela's death, Mr Harte has poured his energies into the foundation set up in his daughter's name, with summer camps increasing year after year across the island.

Throughout the interview, Mr Harte also reflects on his extensive and hugely successful career as Tyrone manager and how it felt to lead his players to three GAA football All-Ireland Senior Championship victories.

Speaking about Tyrone's spectacular Championship win in 2008, Mr Harte described it as "a strange kind of one because of a defeat in the first round of the Ulster Championship, after a replay, after extra-time, by a single point".

"We were written off as no-hopers - some bookies made us 33 to 1," he said - before revealing he then put a bet on his team to win.

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