FAMILY and friends of John McAreavey are delighted he has found new love, three years after the murder of his wife Michaela on their honeymoon.
"He's a young man and he should be allowed to move ahead with his life," said a family friend of Mr McAreavey (33), who is dating accountant Tara Brennan.
A spokesman for Mr McAreavey described the pair's relationship as an "embryonic friendship that has grown".
"Friends and family are happy for him," the spokesman said.
John had visited Michaela's parents Marian and Mickey Harte "out of respect" to tell them he had met someone, and they gave their blessing for the new relationship.
John met Tara Brennan, also an accountant, in Dublin a year ago through their work.
The pair have been smitten with each other and John took the Kildare woman to his lifelong friend's wedding in Belfast last month. The pair also holidayed in New York in August.
News of their relationship emerged when John began proudly sharing pictures on Twitter and Facebook of the two of them together. He tweeted a picture of them at a charity 3km fun run in Maynooth on Stephen's Day.
John's friends say they are been delighted for him and they say John's fight for justice for Michaela is not over.
This month is the third anniversary of the Michaela's murder. Her tragic death sent shockwaves around the world and the Harte and McAreavey families are still searching for justice.
The Michael Foundation charity was set up to bring something positive out of their anguish.
One friend described John as a "major driving force" behind the Michaela Foundation, and though he'll never forget Michaela "it's good to see him take this step".
Tara and John were "strictly friends" for a long time but their relationship developed a few months ago.
They were said to have been "worried" about what other people would think about their relationship, but they were soon reassured by their friends and families.
"They have so much in common and Tara also helps out now with the Michaela Fund so they have a very close bond," on friend said.
By Joyce Fegan