herald

Wednesday 15 August 2018

Irish ambassador working to help families

THE Irish Ambassador to South Africa, Brendan McMahon, today spoke of John McAreavey’s "absolute devastation".

And Mr McMahon, who is providing assistance to John and Michaela’s families, said they are hopeful her remains can go home this evening.

The ambassador also revealed it is “a comfort” to the families that arrests have been made.

“You wonder how any family can cope with something like this. I can’t say they are coping better or worse than anybody else. They’re coming through it. John is absolutely devastated, it’s very upsetting,” the ambassador said.

“They are aware of that [the outpouring of support for them in Ireland]. They are aware that people’s prayers are with them and people are supporting them.

“It’s a very close family and a very close community,” he said.

SHOCKED

“It has been extremely difficult [for John]. Now he has his brother with him and his brother-in-law,” Mr McMahon added.

He discussed with the foreign minister of Mauritius how to move things along and how to get the family and the body home.

“The people here are shocked by this event as well. It’s not a very violent society,’ he said.

The ambassador is staying at the same hotel, the Legends, where Michaela was violently killed.

“They [the hotel staff] are also stunned and shocked. This afternoon there will be a memorial service that the staff have organised to express solidarity. They are totally shocked and stunned that something like this could happen.”

“[The investigators] certainly have moved with considerable speed [on the investigation].”

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