Harte tragedy: Michaela and John will never get to spend night in new home
It was John McAreavey's dream to lift his beautiful wife over the threshold of their new home -- but the couple never got to spend a night there.
Michaela had made tea for John and his teammates from his local Tullylish GAA club in their new two-storey detached home in Lawrencetown near Banbridge, Co Down.
It was her way of a "house warming" as Michaela, a strict pioneer like her dad, loved to drink tea.
The couple had saved up for the house and couldn't wait to live together. They even had the spare room ready for Michaela's parents, Mickey and Marian, to come and visit.
Unlike most young couples their age -- Michaela (27) and John (26) had decided to wait until they were married before moving in together.
They bought their detached home in a modest development on the outskirts of Banbridge, where houses are for sale from £109,000. They had just had the house landscaped and had chosen to live just two miles from John's parents' home.
They made their vows to each other and celebrated their big day with 300 friends and family members in the Slieve Russell Hotel in Cavan.
All they had left to do was enjoy their honeymoon before embarking on the rest of their lives together.
But John's "beautiful wife", his "best friend" and his "rock" was taken away.
Yesterday, locals in Law-rencetown remembered how Michaela had quickly made friends in the community and was looking forward to making a home there with John.
Tyrone native Mick Miller, a member of Tullylish GAA, said he remembered seeing Mich-aela the first day she walked into the Co Down club.
She was wearing a Tyrone jersey and Mick immediately warmed to her.
"Michaela was a friendly person who just wanted to live here and fit into her new community. We always got on because she knew I was a Tyrone man and would have followed Mickey at all the games. Herself and John were inseparable. She never missed a match," he said.
"She came here when he played all his league matches and she watched them all. I remember sitting here watching a game with her the last time I saw her. She always had a smile."
Michaela partied like the "best of them", even though she was not a drinker, and enjoyed many social nights at Tullylish GAA club.
The couple's friend and John's teammate, Justin McCartan, spoke fondly of having tea in their new house. "Michaela was always drinking tea, that's what she did. I went over there and it was lovely. They were so happy and there was a great buzz in the house," he said.
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