Belfast Telegraph

We will never stop until we catch Michaela's killers - John McAreavey offers £45,000 reward for information

2017 an opportunity to push for new process, says John

By Jonny Bell

John McAreavey has said he and the Harte family have the resources to revisit Mauritius as many times as it takes to ensure justice is done for Michaela as he offered a substantial reward for information leading to a prosecution.

Mr McAreavey has travelled to Mauritius with his sister Claire and Mark Harte, Michaela's eldest brother. They have met with the authorities including the country's prime minister and set up a confidential telephone in their bid for those responsible to be brought before a court. An elite task force has also been established by police.

On Tuesday he gave a news conference appealing for the public's help offering a near £45,000 reward. He said that they should not have had to make the "very painful" return to the island but that they had been "let down, time and time again and betrayed" by the process.

He said they will return to the island as many times as it takes to see the killers brought to justice.

“It is our sincere hope that the substantial reward which we are offering will send out a powerful message about our determination to keep on seeking justice," he said.

"We have the determination, the energy, the resources to be here for as long as it takes, repeatedly as many times as is required. We have no problem being in Mauritius next week, next month, next year. We will simply not relent until the people responsible for Michaela's brutal murder are served justice."

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Earlier, speaking to the BBC Mr McAreavey said 2017 would provide the opportunity for a renewed push for justice.

He said it was difficult returning to the holiday island but made easier with the support of his own family and the Hartes but he hoped the visit would trigger more activity, leading to arrests.

"If you have a clear objective - this is for justice for Michaela - you can focus toward that and so far it has been working for us," he said.

Mrs McAreavey was killed while on honeymoon, just 12 days after marrying John. She was discovered dead at their luxury hotel. The daughter of Tyrone GAA boss Mickey Harte, she had been strangled. Two hotel workers were tried for murder, but found not guilty in 2012.

John said he had found determination from his meetings so far and was confident it would continue on his return home. He said he wondered how he would be received thinking the public would be "fed up" with the case and wanting to forget it.

"2017 for me is start of new process," he said. "We are engaged in seeking determination from the Mauritius authorities to get justice.

"Largely the response from the authorities has been very positive. Words are easily spoken but we are very much hoping when we return to Ireland we will see the wheels of justice move.

"The mood among the Mauritian public has been good, I have spoken with many people here and I suppose the Mauritius people have felt this as well. Their reputation has been tarnished and they feel they want to have this solved and feel it can be achieved."

Mr McAreavey remarried in September last year. He said grieving for Michaela had been a "complicated process".

He continued: "As a 26-year-old man I had to learn a lot about life at that time but I do feel that I have grieved. From my understanding grieving is not something you do and you park it and that's that, it is a process and justice would aid that.

"I have to stress, this is not about me this is about Michaela and with all this what happened to her can get lost.

"She was a 27-year-old woman who had just begun a new stage in life and she was brutally murdered on her honeymoon and that is just so unjust.

"I have taken the lead with her family, to ensure that, ok we can not bring her back, but see that justice is served."

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