Five-figure sum for John McAreavey over Daily Mail photographs
THE husband of murder victim Michaeala McAreavey has been awarded a five figure sum from the Irish Daily Mail over publication of CCTV footage of another couple arguing at their honeymoon hotel in Mauritius
John McAreavey settled his action at the High Court in Belfast today. A lawyer for the newspaper group expressed apologies about the photos.
The CCTV pictures showed a couple arguing on the day of the murder, but it later emerged they were a German couple.
After the case, Mr McAreavey told the Herald: "I'm glad I can now fully focus on assisting the Mauritian authorities with their new investigation, which I've been doing ever since the trial.
"I'm determined to see justice prevail and hopefully people will realise that the fact there are two murderers walking free around Mauritius has to be a danger for Mauritians and people considering travelling there."
Michaela McAreavey, 27, the daughter of Tyrone Gaelic football team manager Mickey Harte, was found strangled in the newlyweds' honeymoon suite at the Legends Hotel in Mauritius in January 2011.
Lawyer Michael Kealey, for the defendants Associated Newspapers (Ireland) Ltd, said in a statement: "An article published in the 15 June 2012 edition of the Irish Daily Mail included stills taken from CCTV footage showing what the newspaper described as an 'arguing couple', and which were presented in such a way as to potentially infer that they may have been John McAreavey and his late wife, Michaela.
"In fact, the footage was of a German couple, as has been unequivocally accepted by the authorities in Mauritius."
Mr Kealey continued: "The defendant acknowledges that these potentially misleading images were published at an extremely difficult and traumatic time for John McAreavey and caused him significant distress.
"The defendant unreservedly apologises to John McAreavey and very much regrets the distress caused by the publication of this material.
"The Irish Daily Mail is committed to supporting John McAreavey in his fight to ensure that those who were responsible for the brutal murder of his beloved Michaela are held to account for their actions."
Sources close to the case also disclosed that a "substantial five-figure sum" is to be paid out in damages.