Belfast Telegraph

Family of murdered Michaela McAreavey sues Mauritius honeymoon hotel for £1m

By Chris Kilpatrick and David Young

The family of Michaela McAreavey is reported to be suing the hotel in which she was murdered while on honeymoon for damages which could top £1m.

The 27-year-old newlywed was strangled in her room at the former Legends Hotel in Mauritius in January of last year.

Two hotel workers accused of killing the daughter of Tyrone GAA manager Mickey Harte were cleared of her murder earlier this year.

Former Legends employees Sandip Moneea and Avinash Treebhoowoon were found not guilty by jurors at the island's Supreme Court in July.

Now Mrs McAreavey's widower John and the Harte family have launched civil proceedings against the Lux Hotel Group, which is the re-branded name of the hotel.

The basis for the case is understood to be the claim that the hotel failed to provide a safe place for the young teacher to stay. It is also understood the majority of any compensation awarded would be donated to a charity — The Michaela Foundation — set up in memory of the Tyrone woman.

According to the Sunday World, the claim was lodged at the Supreme Court in Mauritius on Friday. In the claim, Mr McAreavey says he knew Michaela for seven years and the couple got engaged in Paris in 2008. The widower said they had planned to have four children together. A number of fixed damages and expenses are listed in the court papers.

They are understood to include the cost of Mrs McAreavey’s funeral (£18,000), flight expenses (£16,000), legal expenses (£25,000) and professional counselling services (£10,000). The total is believed to be £74,440.

The remainder of the claim centres on Mrs McAreavey’s projected earnings and moral damages. If successful the lawsuit could cost the hotel around £1.3m.

A spokesman told the Belfast Telegraph the McAreavey and Harte families would not be commenting, but a source yesterday confirmed the action to the Press Association. Lux hotel manager Brice Lunot declined to comment.

Background

Michaela McAreavey was found dead in her room at the Legends Hotel on Mauritius in January of last year. The 27-year-old was holidaying with her husband John McAreavey when she was attacked in her bedroom after she left him at a poolside restaurant to fetch biscuits.

The teacher was well known as the daughter of Tyrone GAA manager Mickey Harte. The Michaela Foundation was set up in her memory with an emphasis on her passions in life, including fashion and Irish.

For more information, log on to themichaelafoundation.com

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