Sunday 22 October 2017

'Are your families safe?' - Michaela McAreavey's brother makes heartfelt plea for new information about her murder

John McAreavey and Michaela McAreavey on their wedding day (Irish News)
John McAreavey and Michaela McAreavey on their wedding day (Irish News)
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

The brother of murdered Michaela McAreavey has appealed to the Mauritian public to "be brave" and bring forward information which may help to solve the case.

Speaking alongside her husband John, her brother Mark Harte appealed to people to help make their community safe again.

"The reality is that there are killers walking around  in your communities, your villages and your towns." he said.

"Are your families safe? This could be your wife, your daughter, your sister, your grandaughter.

John McAreavey, right, and Mark Harte, brother of murdered honeymooner Michaela McAreavey, during a press conference at the Labourdonnais Hotel in Port Louis, Mauritius
John McAreavey, right, and Mark Harte, brother of murdered honeymooner Michaela McAreavey, during a press conference at the Labourdonnais Hotel in Port Louis, Mauritius

"So when you go home to your houses tonight I want you to look at these young girls in your lives and  I want you to reach into your heart and I want you to make Mauritius a safer place for everyone.

"You do that by bringing forward information that we require. Please be brave, please come forward with the truth."

Michaela's family are offering a €50,000 reward for information leading to a successful prosecution and conviction of her killers.

Accompanied by his sister Claire McAreavey and Mark Harte, brother of the late Michaela, he announced that the cash would be given for any fresh information which may lead to a successful prosecution and conviction of whomever is responsible for her murder.

Ms McAreavey (27) was killed just 12 days after marrying her husband John. The newly-weds were honeymooning in Mauritius when she was discovered dead at their luxury hotel.

The young woman, who is the daughter of Tyrone GAA boss Mickey Harte, was strangled. Nobody has ever been prosecuted for the murder.

Speaking at the same press conference Mr McAreavey said:

“Over the past six and half years our resolve to win justice for Michaela remains undiminished. We believe we have given the Mauritian authorities every chance to deliver on their very public promise that justice would be done.

“However, until this visit the reality falls far short of that and as the years have passed it appears that the unofficial policy has become one of ‘out of sight - out of mind.’ But we have no intention of just slipping out of mind or sight. Michaela deserves justice and we intend to get it. We should not have needed to make this very painful return journey."

Mr McAreavey hit out at the Mauritian authorities saying they feel that they have been "let down time and time again".

He said the family "feel betrayed by a process that has failed us and Michaela".

"Today we take some comfort from the assurances given by the Prime Minister yesterday that Michaela will get justice, but to achieve that we need the help of those who may know something, but have not yet come forward for whatever reason."

The widower, who has since remarried, made a direct appeal to the people of Mauritius to come forward "with any piece of information, no matter how small" which may be relevant in bringing the day of justice closer for the killers of Michaela.

“It is our sincere hope that the substantial reward which we are offering will send out a powerful message about our determination to keep on seeking justice.

“We make a heartfelt appeal for information which hopefully will lead to a retrial. Mauritians can contact the Police anonymously on a confidential hotline: Tel. 148 and all information will be treated with sensitivity and complete confidentiality.

“As time marches on this could be our final chance to obtain justice for Michaela, but we can’t do it alone. We need the help of the people of Mauritius. Please help us as our fight goes on.”

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