Monday 11 December 2017

My faith keeps me going says grieving Mickey Harte

Fiona Ellis

LIFE will never be the same again following the murder of his beloved daughter, Michaela.

But courageous Tyrone GAA boss Mickey Harte said yesterday his faith in God had given him the strength to keep living.

"First I use prayer, that's the mantra I have. My belief in God is what sustains me through difficult times," he said. "Without my faith and belief in God I wouldn't know where I'd be today. That's the key value I have.

"Everything in life gives you new perspective, some more acute that others. Our perspective in life has been very, very different since January."

Mr Harte also said the thousands of cards and letters he had received after his daughter's death had been a huge help to his family as they struggled to come to terms with their loss.

"It's good that people care about others. We got a lot of care and support from the whole of the country and thousands of letters and cards. Collectively, they made a difference."

Michaela was strangled in her hotel room after she walked in on intruders while on honeymoon with her husband, John McAreavey, in Mauritius.

Mr Harte revealed yesterday that he planned to set up a charity in memory of Michaela, but he added that the project was only at an early stage.

"It will be something people can share in an environment of learning and will be something we can offer to young people in particular. Hopefully, it will be somewhere where people can access certain life values."

The Gaelic football coach also praised his son-in-law John. He said the Down footballer was "a great young man and a great footballer".

Harte said he hoped the attention surrounding Mr McAreavey would die down and "that people will let him be a normal young man".

Mr Harte made the comments as he gave a motivational talk to members of the Irish team who will take part in the 18th World Transplant Games next month.

In his speech, he told the competitors, all of whom have had transplants and range in age from nine to 64, to believe in themselves.

"You already are winners because you are here."

Irish Independent

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