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Sunday 21 January 2018

Michaela never had chance to spend night in new home

Sandip Mooneea arrives at the Supreme Court. Photo: PA
Avinash Treebhoowon

David Young in Port Louis, Mauritius

JOHN and Michaela McAreavey never got the chance to spend one night in the house they planned to start married life in.

The heartbroken widower of the murdered teacher told the Supreme Court in Port Louis they intended to move into the home in Lawrencetown, Co Down, after returning from their honeymoon in Mauritius.

Mr McAreavey said it was to be an exciting new chapter in their lives following a magical wedding.

"The time of purchasing our home was due to the fact that the housing market in Ireland was in a good period to buy," he explained.

"So we purchased our home in December 2008 and subsequently let it out to tenants for two years.

"So we never got a chance to spend one night together in our new home.

"It was very important to us that we would only ever live together when we were married.

"We were both practicing Catholics and Michaela would be a very traditional girl by nature.

"We felt by waiting it would make the experience more new and magical and something to look forward to after we returned from honeymoon."

Mr McAreavey said he met his future wife when they were both students in Belfast in 2005.

"At a student night mutual friends introduced us and that was that," he said.

"We were pretty much inseparable.

"The most time I had ever been apart from Michaela in those years was three days - three painful days, might I add."

The couple got engaged in 2008 and on December 30th, 2010 got married in Michaela's home parish in Co Tyrone.

"It was a magical wedding," Mr McAreavey told the court.

"It was a traditional Irish Catholic wedding."

He said he and his bride were in the fortunate position that his uncle John McAreavey, the Bishop of Dromore, was able to conduct the ceremony.

"So it was a real family wedding," he added.

"Michaela being the only daughter it was the chance for her father to give her away, I was the first sibling of my family to get married so it was a wonderful, wonderful day."

He revealed that the couple had actually hoped to have the ceremony the following day - Michaela's 27th birthday.

"We did try to have our wedding on her birthday but that date wasn't available so we went for the day before but that night at midnight we were able to celebrate her birthday which just added to the experience," he said.

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