Northern Ireland news

New podcast about murder of Michaela McAreavey wins strong positive reviews as family plea for action

Mark Harte and John McAreavey appeared on BBC Breakfast yesterday to appeal for the British and Irish governments to renew pressure on the Mauritian authorities

A NEW podcast about the murder of Michaela McAreavey has attracted strong positive reviews as her brother and widower continued their publicity campaign to "re-energise" the investigation, nine years after she died on honeymoon in Mauritius.

`Murder in Mauritius' has been hailed as "an important podcast' and `highly recommend' by listeners who have downloaded the nine-part series, which has attracted 4.7 out of 5 stars reviews on Apple Podcasts.

The daughter of Tyrone football manager Mickey Harte was strangled in her hotel room shortly after having lunch with her husband John while on honeymoon in January 2011.

Two hotel workers were acquitted of murdering the 27-year-old school teacher following a high-profile trial on the Indian Ocean island the following year.

Mr McAreavey, who has since remarried, appears on the podcast, alongside his sister Claire and her brother Mark Harte.

In 2017 the trio returned to the island to meet Mauritian Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth and Director of Public Prosecutions Satyajit Boolell.

They made a public appeal for information and offered a reward of 2 million Mauritian rupees (£44,000) - almost twice the average annual salary - for information which leads to a conviction in the case.

A potential change in Mauritian law could mean the men acquitted face a retrial if compelling evidence emerges.

Many listeners have vowed they will "never go to Mauritius", with one praising how the podcast "was delivered in a very non-bias way, based on facts and true evidence" and someone else said they "now understand what actually happened".

Another, who described themselves as a `lawyer' said they would "never recommend Mauritius as a seat of arbitration because basic standards of safety and justice are almost entirely absent".

However, one listener questions whether the family members are the best ones to tell the story.

Mr Harte and Mr McAreavey appeared on BBC Breakfast yesterday, which was the ninth anniversary of the murder, to appeal for the British and Irish governments to renew pressure on the Mauritian authorities.

"We're not `an eye for an eye' type of people," her brother said.

"If we thought for one second that the wrong people were being accused or serving time for Michaela's murder that doesn't sit well with us at all."

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