Rodgers honeymoon tragedy: 'Faith in God will ease families' awful pain,' says Mickey Harte
Bereaved father Mickey Harte has spoken of the "ultimate horror story" currently being endured by the families of the Co Down couple.
The Tyrone Gaelic football manager, whose daughter Michaela was murdered during her honeymoon in Mauritius with her husband John McAreavey in 2011, told of his empathy with the Rodgers and Reilly families.
He said they would have many dark days ahead, but said that he hoped their sorrows would be eased through faith.
Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, Mr Harte said: "These are two families who have gone from enjoying one of the best days of their lives to enduring the ultimate horror story and I can empathise with them.
"I can only think that by turning to God and placing their faith in Him, and indeed in their own beliefs, they might be able to cope with what is a huge burden.
"As things stand, they can only see darkness.
"And maybe that will be the situation for some time to come, but ultimately it is by having faith in God that their sorrows may be eased.
"Words cannot fully express the sorrow both families are suffering given all the circumstances, but with the passage of time my sincere hope is that they may be granted the grace and strength to manage their grief and come to terms with it."
Michaela McAreavy was killed while on honeymoon in Mauritius after she disturbed thieves in her hotel room.
As yet no one has been convicted of the 27-year-old's murder, but the All-Ireland winning manager said earlier this year that he still hoped someone will be found responsible. He said: "It was only for the grace of God, there is absolutely no other explanation for it.
"And that's what I feel on hearing the awful news I almost heard or felt a message saying: 'You can manage this, you can handle this'.
And with God on your side, who can be against you.
"I felt God was there for me, and I couldn't have gone through it without Him."