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Widower offers 44,000 reward to help catch Michaela's killer

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Widower offers 44,000 reward to help catch Michaela's killer thumbnailJohn McAreavey, second from left, with Michaela's brother, Mark Harte, left and his sister, Claire McAreavey, who met with the Mauritian Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth on Monday.

JOHN McAreavey offered a reward of two million Mauritian rupees (44,000) for information about the murder of his wife, Michaela, nee Harte, during a news conference yesterday (Tuesday) in the country's capital of Port Louis.

Mr McAreavey, who travelled back to the country with his sister, Claire, and Michaela's brother, Mark, appealed to the people of Mauritius to come forward with any information they may have in a bid to catch his wife's killer.

The 27-year-old daughter of Tyrone Gaelic Football manager, Mickey Harte, was murdered while the couple were on honeymoon in 2011. Michaela was strangled in her hotel room at the former Legends Hotel on the Indian Ocean island, after she had returned to her room to retrieve a packet of biscuits.

During yesterday's news conference Mr McAreavey said that over the past six-and-a-half years, the young woman's family's resolve to win justice for her remained 'undiminished'.

He said: "We believe we have given the Mauritian authorities every chance to deliver on their very public promise that justice would be done.

"However until this visit, the reality falls far short of that and as the years have passed, it appears that the unofficial policy has become one of 'out of sight- out of mind'.

"But we have no intention of just slipping out of mind or sight. Michaela deserves justice and we intend to get it. We should not have needed to make this very painful return journey."

He added that they had felt "let down time and time again".

 

"We take some comfort from the assurances given by the Prime Minister yesterday that Michaela will get justice, but to achieve that we need the help of those who may know something, but have not yet come forward for whatever reason."

The family hopes that the substantial reward they are offering will send a "powerful message" about their determination to get justice.

He added: "As time marches on this could be our final chance to obtain justice for Michaela, but we can't do it alone. We need to help of the people of Mauritius. Please help us as our fight goes on."

In 2012, Sandip Moneaa and Avinish Treebhoowoon, who were workers at the hotel, were tried for her murder but were acquitted in a unanimous verdict following an eight-week trial. The Mauritian police launched a fresh investigation following the trial but it came to nothing. To date, no one has been brought to justice for the school teacher's death.

Mr McAreavey, who remarried last year to Tara Brennan, an accountant from County Kildare, met with senior police officers on Monday and was told that an "elite task force" are currently working on the investigation into Michaela's murder.

Stating that the meeting with senior police officers was "short but positive", Mr McAreavey said he is hopeful that the new task force would be able to uncover "fresh and compelling evidence".

Vowing "to go to the ends of the earth to ensure that justice is achieved for Michaela", he also met with the Mauritian Prime Minister, Pravind Jugnauth, on Monday, something which he described as "very significant".

A confidential phone line has been set up in Mauritius for people to give evidence about the murder, as well as an address where people can post potential new information.

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