Mauritian government to re-look at McAreavey case 10 years after killing

Mauritian government to re-look at McAreavey case 10 years after killing

John and Michaela McAreavey: The 27-year-old was killed while on her honeymoon with her husband in 2011.

The Mauritian government has agreed to reconsider the case of murdered Tyrone teacher Michaela McAreavey, the North's first and deputy first ministers have said.

The 27-year-old, who was the only daughter of All-Ireland-winning Gaelic football manager Mickey Harte, was strangled in her hotel room on the Indian Ocean island on January 10, 2011.

The Co Tyrone teacher, who had been married 10 days earlier, was attacked as she returned to her room alone and disturbed a burglary.

Two former workers at the luxury resort — Sandip Moneea and Avinash Treebhoowoon — were acquitted after a high-profile trial on the holiday island in summer 2012.

Northern Ireland's first minister Arlene Foster and deputy first minister Michelle O'Neill have confirmed the incident is being looked at again.

The politicians met with Mrs McAreavey's relatives today. Options are currently being explored on how best to further support the family in their efforts to see justice.

Mrs McAreavey’s widower, John, has led a long campaign for justice on behalf of her loved ones.

He welcomed the new development, tweeting: "A significant step in the right direction. Thank you Michelle and Arlene."

Outgoing first minister Mrs Foster said: "The death of Michaela McAreavey whilst on honeymoon touched everyone across Northern Ireland.

"The fact that, more than 10 years later, no-one has been brought to justice for this most dreadful crime only serves to compound the grief and pain endured by Michaela's family."

She added: "I felt both a personal and professional responsibility to do everything possible to bring about justice for a young woman who was so cruelly taken from the many people who knew and loved her.

"And I'm pleased that one of my last duties as First Minister was to update the family on this important progress and show my support for their unrelenting campaign."

Ms O'Neill said: "Michaela McAreavey was a remarkable young woman; adored by her family, friends, and students. The taking of her young life was devastating for all who knew her.

"In pursuit of justice for Michaela, the Harte and McAreavey families have fought a decade-long battle with dignity and determination. We gave a commitment to support them in that battle and I'm encouraged that we have now received agreement from the Mauritian government to look again at the case.

"Michaela deserves justice and the very least her family deserve is truth. No stone should be left unturned in pursuing that, and we will continue to do all we can to see it delivered."

Long campaign 

Ahead of the anniversary, the Harte and McAreavey families insisted their determination to secure justice is undiminished a decade on.
Ahead of the anniversary, the Harte and McAreavey families insisted their determination to secure justice is undiminished a decade on.

Mrs McArevey's family accused the Mauritius authorities of disrespect and inertia as they prepared to mark the 10th anniversary of her death earlier this year.

They have accused the Mauritian authorities of being more interested in preserving the island’s reputation as a holiday destination than catching her killers.

Ahead of the anniversary, the Harte and McAreavey families insisted their determination to secure justice is undiminished a decade on.

In a joint statement issued through the PA news agency, they said: “Over the course of the past 10 years, whilst learning to live with the massive loss of Michaela in our lives, we have also had to endure sheer frustration in the face of multiple bare-faced lies from the Mauritian authorities that justice will be served in this case.

“They have repeatedly provided us with false hope when, in reality, there has been little meaningful progress in this case, if any, since the acquittal in 2012.

“When we returned to Mauritius in 2017, we were assured yet again that the case remained active and a new investigation was then under way. But no sooner had we returned to Ireland, with the media attention dimmed, than the Mauritian authorities reverted to their default mode of inertia.

“The pain of being denied justice is further compounded by the fact that Michaela’s murderers continue to walk free in Mauritius.”

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