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Shining light in Tyrone

The anguish of Mickey and Marian Harte can hardly be imagined, but sorrow doesn't come any sharper than the loss of a child. What started with a dream wedding has ended with searing heartbreak for her husband, John.



Michaela's all-too-short life was long enough for her to win the hearts of those who knew her and today her home county will mark her distressing return with anguished respect.

It has been a crushing week, but one that the Hartes have borne with a dignity and decency that was quite remarkable.

The smiling beauty who became a talismanic figure for Tyrone by her father's side, was also an inspirational teacher.

Mickey Harte had a special bond with his radiant daughter. In his autobiography 'Kicking Down Heaven's Door', the GAA legend described how: "'I promised her she'd be the first person I turned to if we ever won a senior All-Ireland."

He had the privilege of doing so three times.

It seems unspeakably cruel that he should be deprived of the opportunity to do so again, especially in such senseless, brutal circumstances.

With such a focus on material concerns, the shocking murder in Mauritius is a tragic reminder of what truly counts, and the preciousness and fragility of life.

There are no suitable words of consolation to salve such a loss, but the fact that her killers have been captured and will be dealt with, may in time offer a fragment of solace.

True to form, Mickey Harte had cleared the way for his team to take on Fermanagh this weekend. The match was later postponed by the management, a final testament to a unique relationship that could not be sundered.