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Crowds say farewell to murdered honeymooner


Heartbroken gaelic football manager Mickey Harte helped shoulder the coffin as thousands of people joined the funeral cortege for his murdered newlywed daughter today.

One of Northern Ireland's busiest roads was blocked to all traffic as mourners made their way to St Malachy's church outside Ballygawley where Michaela McAreavey, 27, was buried in her wedding dress.

Irish President Mary McAleese was among those who attended the funeral of Tyrone GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association) manager Mickey Harte's daughter. Many others followed the cortege from the family home in bright winter sunshine.

It was one of the biggest funerals in Northern Ireland for several years, with political and community representatives from all sides attending.

The roads were lined with hundreds of GAA fans and friends of the young Irish language teacher who was strangled in her honeymoon suite in Mauritius a week ago - just days after she was married in the same church where Requiem Mass was held today.

Her widower John, parents Mickey and Marian, and brothers Mark, Michael and Mattie have been devastated by the death. Mr McAreavey and Mr Harte carried the coffin in sombre silence.

Tyrone senior gaelic football team members and local club Errigal Ciaran, which Mr Harte used to manage, provided a guard of honour from her parents' home to the church. On arrival, another guard of honour was provided by Mr McAreavy's local football club, Tullylish in Co Down, and Mrs McAreavey's form class at St Patrick's Academy in Dungannon.

Archbishop of Armagh Cardinal Sean Brady presided over the Mass.

© Press Association