... and this was to be their new home

Eimear Ni Bhraonain

IT was footballer John McAreavey's dream to lift his beautiful wife over the threshold of their new home.

Sadly, it will never happen.

Michaela had made tea for John and his teammates from his local Tullylish GAA club in their new two-storey detached home in Lawrencetown, near Banbridge, Co Down.

It was her way of a "house warming", as Michaela, a strict Pioneer like her dad, loved to drink tea.

The couple had saved up for the house and couldn't wait to live together. They even had the spare room ready for Michaela's parents, Mickey and Marian, to come and visit.

Unlike most young couples their age -- Michaela (27) and John (26) -- decided to wait until they were married before moving in together.

They bought the home in a modest development, where houses sell from around £109,000 and had just had the house landscaped. The property is just two miles from John's parents.

They made their vows to each other and celebrated their big day with 300 friends and family members in the Slieve Russell Hotel, in Cavan.

All they had left to do was enjoy their honeymoon before embarking on the rest of their lives together.