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Michaela Harte McAreavey's widower speaks for first time since murder

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John McAreavey and his late wife Michaela McAreavey

John McAreavey and his late wife Michaela McAreavey

John and Michaela McAreavey at the Giant's Causeway in north Antrim

John and Michaela McAreavey at the Giant's Causeway in north Antrim

John and Michaela McAreavey on their honeymoon (McAreavey Family/PA Wire)

John and Michaela McAreavey on their honeymoon (McAreavey Family/PA Wire)

Tyrone Manager Mickey Harte at his daughter Michaela's wedding to John McAreavey

Tyrone Manager Mickey Harte at his daughter Michaela's wedding to John McAreavey

Michaela and John McAreavey outside Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France

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

Michaela McAreavey's coffin is carried from her parents' home in Ballygawley, Co Tyrone

Niall Carson

John and Michaela McAreavey on their honeymoon

John and Michaela McAreavey on their honeymoon

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.

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.

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.

Niall Carson

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.

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.

Niall Carson

The body of Michaela McAreavey left George Best Belfast City airport in a hearse on Friday afternoon.

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 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

Alan Lewis

Michaela's remains leave Victoria Hospital in Muiritius yesterday en route to the airport. 13th January 2011.

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

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.

A hearse with the body of Michaela McAreavey, leaves George Best Belfast city airport. Friday January 14, 2011.

Paul Faith

Michaela McAreavey on her wedding day

Michaela McAreavey on her wedding day

Irish News

John McAreavey and wife Michaela Harte are seen on their wedding day

John McAreavey and wife Michaela Harte are seen on their wedding day

Irish News

Michaela Harte Far Right front in St.Malachy's Primary School where she 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..

Raj Theekoy

Raj Theekoy

George Michel

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 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.

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.

Raj Theekoy (33), faces a conspiracy charge in connection with the murder of Michaela McAreavey.

A distraught Mickey Harte with son Michael.

A distraught Mickey Harte with son Michael.

Justin Kernoghan

Michaela Harte (left) in St.Malachy's Primary School where she attended as a pupil and later completed her teaching placement.

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 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..

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

A distraught Mickey Harte with sons Matthew (left) and Michael at their family home near Ballygawley

Justin Kernoghan

Michaela Harte  after she had received a B.Ed at Queens University Belfast. (Picture taken in June 2006)

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

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

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

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.

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

A wedding sign and balloons telling wedding guests directions to the church near the family home in Ballygawley

Justin Kernoghan

Mickey Harte (centre), is comforted at the family home outside Ballygawley in Co Tyrone

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

(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

Irish News

Donegal Celtic and Cliftonville observe a minutes silence in respect of Michaela Harte at the game in west Belfast

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 Michaella

Tyrone manager Mickey Harte and his daughter Michaela after the All Ireland Football Final 28/9/2003

Tyrone manager Mickey Harte and his daughter Michaela after the All Ireland Football Final 28/9/2003

©INPHO/Patrick Bolger

Michaela Harte, daughter of Tyrone GAA manager Mickey Harte.  Pic by Ian Magill.  23/3/10.Real Woman feature by Stephanie Bell.

Michaela Harte, daughter of Tyrone GAA manager Mickey Harte. Pic by Ian Magill. 23/3/10.Real Woman feature by Stephanie Bell.

Ian Magill

Michaela Harte

Michaela Harte

Ian Magill

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.

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.

Irish News

Tyrone manager Mickey Harte with his son David and daughter Michaela after his side's win at Croke Park

Tyrone manager Mickey Harte with his son David and daughter Michaela after his side's win at Croke Park

Trevor Martin.

Tyrone GAA boss Mickey Harte graduates at Queens University pictured with his daughter Machela who also graduatedand became a Bachelor in Education

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.

Michaela Harte appearing on the television programme the Late Late Show.

RTE

Tyrone manager Mickey Harte celebrates with his daughter Michaela and his son Matthew

Tyrone manager Mickey Harte celebrates with his daughter Michaela and his son Matthew

©INPHO/Patrick Bolger

John McAreavey and wife Michaela Harte are seen on their wedding day at St. Malacheys Church Ballymacilrory on December 30, 2010.

John McAreavey and wife Michaela Harte are seen on their wedding day at St. Malacheys Church Ballymacilrory on December 30, 2010.

Irish News

Mickey Harte, pictured in 2006 with his daughter Michaela

Mickey Harte, pictured in 2006 with his daughter Michaela

The heartbroken husband of murdered honeymooner Michaela McAreavey says he has been left totally devastated

The heartbroken husband of murdered honeymooner Michaela McAreavey says he has been left totally devastated

John McAreavey and his late wife Michaela McAreavey

The heartbroken young widower of Michaela Harte is certain she is watching over him and helping him through his torment.

Speaking for the first time |since her murder during their honeymoon in Mauritius, John McAreavey told of his shock upon discovering her body in their hotel room and said Michaela's death was “just the worst thing imaginable”.

The young accountant revealed how when the local police in Mauritius came on the scene he was initially treated as a suspect in the investigation of her death.

“Yeah, that happened,” he said, adding: “When you're at rock-bottom it doesn't really matter anymore what anyone says or does.”

He told how he has been struggling to cope in the aftermath of her brutal murder in January.

Mr McAreavey, at times struggling to hold back his emotions, told an RTE documentary how the couple had first met while in their second year at Queen's University in Belfast. Within three weeks both decided that they would be spending the rest of their lives together.

“Maybe it was a wee bit presumptuous, but I suppose when you know, you know,” he said.

“It was just a matter of planning the rest of our lives together — we loved to do that. It was a straight road where we were going.”

The days up to her death had been as perfect a honeymoon as anyone could wish for, while the last day the couple spent together at their beachside hotel had been “like any beautiful day”, he said on the documentary — Michaela: Finding Peace — screened last night on RTE One.

Michaela's father, Tyrone football manager Mickey Harte, broke down as he spoke of his daughter's wedding day and of how John could not have been a better son-in-law.

“Michaela chose very well,” he said.

John told how he and Michaela had woken, had breakfast together and he went to have a golf lesson while Michaela relaxed by the hotel poolside. When he returned they went for lunch.

“Obviously, that was the last time we were to spend any time together in this world,” he said.

When Michaela failed to return from her room after going to fetch a chocolate biscuit to have with her post-lunch cup of tea, he went looking for her.

Finding her body in the bath of their room was “just the worst thing imaginable”, he said.

“When I seen Michaela in the bath, I had to go over and just ran and grabbed her out and screamed for help.”

A porter arrived with the hotel manager and another man. CPR was attempted, while John held his wife and repeated: “Come on Michaela, come on.”

He said it was a “wee while” before the doctor came — but by that stage she had “passed”.

Describing this time in his life as “very, very difficult”, he said it was a “very dark place” and he felt “utter despair”.

In the aftermath of her death he felt he needed to have her rosary beads and her wedding rings.

“Once I got my hands on those, I felt that I wasn't on my own,” he said.

Throughout her funeral he felt the presence of his young wife with him.

Now, in the months after her death, he is trying to live in the present and not to look too far ahead. Trying to rekindle the passion for life is hard.

“At the minute I just don't have it,” he said.

Belfast Telegraph


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