Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 28 December 2014

Justice is denied for tragic Michaela McAreavey

Two men have been found not guilty of murdering Northern Ireland schoolteacher  Michaela McAreavey
Two men have been found not guilty of murdering Northern Ireland schoolteacher Michaela McAreavey
John and Michaela McAreavey outside Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France.
Murder accused Sandip Moneea leaving the Supreme Court in Mauritius at the Michaela Mc Areavey murder Trial in Port Louis Mauritius yesterday.Pic Steve Humphreys12th June 2012.
(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 at St. Malacheys Church Ballymacilrory on December 30, 2010.
John and Michaela McAreavey at the Giant's Causeway, in North Antrim
Resha Treebhoowoon, wife of Avinash Treebhoowoon accused of the murder of Michaela Mc Areavey leaving the Supreme Court in Mauritius on the second day of the Murder Trial in Port Louis Mauritius yesterday.Pic Steve Humphreys23rd May 2012.
Michaela McAreavey was found strangled as she honeymooned in Mauritius
CCTV footage allegedly showing Michaela Harte and John McAreavey arguing
John McAreavey at the Supreme Court in Port Louis, Mauritius
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.
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
Michaela McAreavey was found strangled in her hotel room

No-one except those closest to them can really know the horror that the McAreavey and Harte families have lived with during the past 18 months since the murder of Michaela McAreavey while on honeymoon in Mauritius.

The one hope sustaining them was that her killers would be brought before the courts, tried and convicted. That, at least, would be justice. Today that hope lies in tatters. Two men accused of the murder were unanimously acquitted by a jury. It was a devastating blow to the families.

There is no doubt that the investigation of this brutal murder was botched. Vital forensic evidence was either missed or ignored; potential witnesses were not interviewed; Michaela's heartbroken and grief-stricken husband, John, was held for five hours by police in the immediate aftermath of the killing, and the men accused claimed they were tortured by police. To make matters worse, during the trial John had to listen to sordid allegations and innuendo about his private life with Michaela.

In stark contrast, through it all the McAreavey and Harte families have conducted themselves with great dignity as befits the memory of a girl who was regarded as the perfect daughter and the perfect wife.

Her death, particularly given its cruel timing, shocked the entire province and no one could have anything but sympathy for those who loved her. That sympathy is renewed today as the families come to terms with the fact that Michaela's killers are still at large.

Given the huge international interest in the case, there is little doubt that the image of Mauritius, particularly that of its police force, has suffered severe damage. The number of British and Irish holidaymakers going to the island has fallen since the killing. That, of course, is of little concern to the McAreavey and Harte families. They just wonder if justice will ever be done for Michaela and they, like many others, will ask the question - who did kill that bubbly, beautiful girl?

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