Saturday 29 April 2017

'Michaela is never coming back but the least we can do is strive for justice' - John McAreavey speaks of his grief

John McAreavey and Michaela McAreavey on their wedding day (Irish News)
John McAreavey and Michaela McAreavey on their wedding day (Irish News)
Catherine Devine

Catherine Devine

The husband of murdered Michaela McAreavey says he's feeling the best he has felt in a while as he vows to continue to fight for his late wife Michaela McAreavey.

Mr McAreavey told Today FM that he's "learning to live" with his grief.

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

"I'm a lot better now than I was for three or four years. I guess I've just learned to live with this part of my life. It's not nice but many people who have been in my situation before but maybe different circumstances, learn to live with loss.

"Thankfully I've good family and friends around me so I count myself quite fortunate."

Mr McAreavey said he went back to Mauritius to "push for answers".

"Ultimately what we do here isn't going to change things drastically. Michaela is never going to come back but the least we can do is strive for justice. I wanted to show the people of Mauritius that I wasn't going to just let this go away. This is going to be here until it's resolved and hopefully it will be resolved sooner rather than later."

The family recently announced that they 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, Mr McAreavey 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.

“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," Mr McAreavey said.

“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".

"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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