Northern Ireland news

John McAreavey returns to Mauritius to make fresh appeal for help catching killers of Michaela

John McAreavey is returning to Mauritius to make a fresh appeal for information about the murder of his wife Michaela in 2011
John Monaghan

JOHN McAreavey is returning to the island where his wife Michaela was murdered six years ago to make a fresh appeal to help catch her killers.

The Co Down man is due to arrive in Mauritius today, accompanied by his sister Claire, a lawyer, and Mark Harte, one of Michaela's brothers.

Michaela (27), a daughter of Tyrone GAA boss Mickey Harte, was found strangled in a bath at the hotel where the couple had been honeymooning in January 2011.

No-one has been convicted in connection with her killing, with two hotel workers acquitted of the murder after an eight-week trial in 2012.

Police launched a fresh investigation, and new legislation was passed allowing retrials in the face of compelling new evidence, but six years on there has been no breakthrough.

Mauritius's Director of Public Prosecutions reviewed the case last year and concluded that the grounds did not exist to proceed with a prosecution.

Last September, Mr McAreavey was remarried to Tara Brennan, an accountant from Co Kildare.

Speaking before his departure, the former Down GAA player said the families were "not content with how things have been happening over in Mauritius".

"What we're trying to achieve from this whole process is justice - justice for Michaela and for our families," he told the BBC.

"It is a hard process, there's no doubt about that, but it's been hard ever since Michaela died.

"Denial of justice is a very difficult thing to bear - it's a very hard thing to endure.

"We need to appeal to the people of Mauritius, so we felt that the best way to achieve that is to get on a plane and get out there."

Mr McAreavey added: "We're hoping that maybe someone will be able to come forward and maybe give us a little bit more information, maybe something that can lead to evidence, to bring us back on the road to justice."

The travelling group will hold a press conference in Mauritius on Tuesday.

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