Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 27 January 2015

Game would honour my daughter: Mickey Harte

Mickey Harte
Mickey Harte
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
Michaela Harte Far Right front in St.Malachy's Primary School where she 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.
John McAreavey and wife Michaela Harte are seen on their wedding day
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

Tyrone senior football manager Mickey Harte has requested the county board to proceed as planned with all matches and off-field activities — and for a very special reason.

Play on: Mickey Harte says his daughter Michaela would have wanted Tyrone to continue playing

“I feel sure that this is what my beloved Michaela would have wanted,” said the distraught father as he awaits the arrival home of the remains of his 27-year-old daughter who was murdered in Mauritius on Monday.

Michaela and her husband John McAreavey had been married for just 12 days when the tragedy struck but while her father and mother Marion, along with brothers Mark, Matthew and Michael are consumed with grief, they have taken time to issue a message of encouragement to the county board.

“Michaela would have wanted things to continue as normally as possible and I feel that Tyrone would be honouring her wishes if they proceed with their planned activities in the interim,” added the triple All-Ireland winning boss.

The iconic manager’s message has been welcomed by officials in Tyrone including county chairman Ciaran McLaughlin, PRO Damien Harvey and Club Tyrone chairman Hugh McAleer.

Omagh accountant McAleer spearheads the fund-raising Club Tyrone body which is currently immersed in acquiring capital funding for the ambitions new Garvaghey complex which is located close to the Harte family home.

McAleer said it was “a true measure of the man” that even in the midst of his grief Mickey Harte still had thought for others.

“We know he would want to see the GAA programme continue but obviously much will depend on when Michaela’s remains come home. While our match with Fermanagh in Enniskillen on Sunday is still on, circumstances could still mean a change and he are prepared for this if necessary,” said McAleer.

“Nothing has ever been too much trouble for Mickey and Michaela in terms of helping Tyrone. Last year he travelled in a voluntary capacity with me and Mark Conway on behalf of Club Tyrone on a fund-raising exercise to the United States and it was uplifting to have been in his company for those few days.”

PRO Harvey has said that the GAA family in the county will take great considerable heart from the manager’s ‘business as usual’ plea.

“People are so burdened with grief that engaging in GAA activity even in a small way might prove therapeutic. Michaela was so well-known throughout the county that people will be keen to honour her wishes. She was a very special person and she has left a rich legacy behind her,” said Harvey.

County chairman McLaughlin has reported that Tyrone has been “flooded with e-mails” containing messages of sympathy.

“And a lot of these have come from people in counties like Kerry and Armagh with whom we have had great championship battles over the course of the last seven years since Mickey Harte took over. He was highly-respected by his counterparts and Michaela had won her way into the affections of followers of every county,” stated McLaughlin.

Ulster Council officials confirmed last night that they will liaise with Tyrone in relation to the staging of Sunday’s game should circumstances change in the meantime.

“The Ulster Council has said that it will work with us on this and we are very grateful for this. Obviously there is now a wish within the county to have the match played but we must remember that Tyrone are also due to play on next Wednesday and the following weekend as well in the McKenna Cup. A lot of factors may have to be taken into the equation before any final decisions are made,” said McLaughlin.

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