MICHAELA Harte was yesterday described as a "thoroughbred lady" by the man who escorted her through her Rose of Tralee dream.
Sports physiotherapist Barry Mollaghan (33) from Longford, who was Michaela's escort when she represented Ulster in the 2004 Rose of Tralee Festival, said he was "deeply saddened" by her violent death.
"I had the absolute privilege of being Michaela's escort in 2004 -- we became friends straight away. I am deeply and truly saddened by her death -- especially in such terrible circumstances. It is very hard to comprehend," he said.
Mr Mollaghan described Michaela as a "thoroughbred lady to her fingertips".
"I was immediately impres- sed by her," he said.
"She was such a sincere and caring person and so full of life. She had a unique relationship with her father and was the apple of his eye. She had a great love for her entire family -- the thread of which ran through every aspect of her life."