John McAreavey’s simple message: I love my wife

“I LOVE my wife.” That was the simple and moving message from John McAreavey as the police continued to investigate the murder of his wife Michaela.

Mr McAreavey spoke with a government minister in Mauritius yesterday and asked him to relay a simple message home.

Bishop of Dromore John McAreavey, who married the couple said Mr McAreavey was devastated.

“She was the love of his life, absolutely and truly. He adored her and talked about her with such warmth.

“He loved everything about her: her faith, her personality, her love for things Gaelic and Irish, her sparkle.

“I have a sense that a light has gone out with the death of Michaela.”

Fr Gerard McAleer, a life-long friend of Mickey Harte, who concelebrated his only daughter’s wedding Mass, said she was never happier than the day she got married.

“I can honestly say — and I have seen Michaela from the day she was born — I don’t think I have ever seen her more at peace with herself or more radiant or more content.

“She was just everything that a human being could be, she personified all that was good and beautiful about a human being. There wasn’t a single cynical thought in her head.”

Fr McAleer said the young teacher was the one Mr Harte looked for when Tyrone won a game.

“She would be the first person he would hug when that final whistle would go,” he said.

The Donaghmore parish priest added: “I have exhausted the vocabulary in the last few hours and most of the night. I don’t want to use cliches but we are just broken-hearted, bewildered.”

GAA president Christy Cooney offered the organisation’s sympathies to both the Harte and McAreavey families.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Michaela’s family and the Harte family, her husband John and the McAreaveys,” he said.

“Michaela was a familiar face to so many GAA followers up and down the country, having been at her father’s side through what has been the most memorable period in the history of the GAA in Tyrone.”

Mr Cooney praised the positive image the GAA fan portrayed of the association.

“Her radiant smile, passion for life and interest in all things Gaelic were immediately obvious to anyone who crossed her path and the loss to those who loved her most must be incalculable at this most difficult time,” he said.

“Her presence at not only football matches but in so many areas of life will be sadly missed at a time when she and her husband should have been planning a bright future together.

“The tragic timing and circumstances makes the loss even worse.”

Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness passed on their condolences.

Mr Robinson said: “It was with deep sadness that I learnt of the death of Michaela Harte.

“I would like to pass my deepest condolences to her husband John, her father Mickey and to all of her family.”

Mr McGuinness said: “Just a matter of days ago it was a joyous occasion when Michaela married John and no doubt they planned a long and happy life together.

“They had so much to live for but now their hopes have been cruelly dashed by Michaela’s tragic death.”

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