Thursday 27 July 2017

Newly remarried John McAreavey vows 2017 will be year of justice for Michaela

Husband to step up fight to find Mauritius honeymoon killers

John McAreavey and Michaela, who was murdered on honeymoon in Mauritius in 2011 Photo: Irish News/PA Wire
John McAreavey and Michaela, who was murdered on honeymoon in Mauritius in 2011 Photo: Irish News/PA Wire

Declan Bogue

The husband of murdered Tyrone woman Michaela McAreavey says 2017 will be the year he gets justice for her.

Michaela died on her honeymoon with John in 2011 in Mauritius.

Despite it coming up to six years now since her loss, nobody has been brought to justice.

Avinash Treebhoowoon and Sandip Moneea were found not guilty of Michaela's murder in 2012.

John, who remarried in September, has indicated that he intends to speak out next year about the handling of the initial murder inquiry and also "outlining the steps" he intends to take to get justice for Michaela.

On Monday evening he said he will reveal his plans shortly.

"It's not something I am going to be talking about now, but I will next year," he said.

John also talked about how much the work of the Michaela Foundation - the charity he founded in the wake of her death - has helped him to process his grief and loss.

The foundation aims to set a Guinness World Record on January 7 and 8 as they stage a 24-hour game of Gaelic football, as well as partnering with Cancer Focus Northern Ireland in raising funds for both charities.

Speaking at the launch, John spoke about how he has come to deal with the loss of Michaela.

"When you look back at the evolvement of my own life I suppose, before the tragedy and then after the tragedy. That's the way I kind of look at life," he said.

"Everything changed. The Michaela Foundation was the one aspect at that very time I was able to focus on positively. It was a really good outlet for me personally, because it gave me the opportunity not to have to get back into the run of the mill day job that you would be doing. It gave me the opportunity to think about all the good things that Michaela enjoyed.

"For me, it was a good way for me to be creative about that, to create something that would have meaning and that would serve other people."

The foundation hosts summer camps for young girls of an impressionable age, promoting the virtues of faith, family, fashion and wellbeing.

On Monday night the group of footballers that are intending to set a new world record in Garvaghey gathered for an information evening, where they were informed the venture has already raised £25,771 (€30,586) for both charities.

Michaela's father, the legendary Tyrone county manager Mickey Harte, told of how the unusual element to the challenge would have appealed to her. "She would enjoy the innovative nature of it, that would be her.

"We ran the pilot in Glencull in 2012 but it was so successful… before we ran it at all, we were just thinking: 'Is this just going to be for our locality and Michaela's school, where she went to primary school'?

"But it was such a success and the feedback was so positive, not only for the little girls who were called the 'Campettes', but for the leaders who worked with them.

"Parents and grandparents who dropped the children off were just talking about the impact and change it made in their lives. And, you know, that was so rewarding and so fulfilling that we said: 'Right, if this is what is happening here, we need to do it somewhere else.'

"And then the word spread and you go to another county and it worked well there, so it transfers well, because we stick to the ethos of what the foundation is all about."

Belfast Telegraph

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