herald

Wednesday 23 January 2019

Mickey's tears at Michaela tribute

A GRIEVING Mickey Harte wept openly for his murdered daughter Michaela McAreavey at his team's first match of the season.

The distressed Tyrone GAA manager stood with his players, who were all wearing black armbands, and observed a minute of silence. But the emotion was too much for the bereaved dad who broke down in tears.

"I want to say a big thank you to all the people of our local community, our local GAA club Errigal Ciaran, the Tyrone county board, the GAA at Ulster Council level, the GAA at All-Ireland level, the people in the southern Government, the people in the Assembly here," he said after yesterday's McKenna Cup match against Donegal.

"People from every sport in this province and in this country have been so gracious in their support for us, and we really appreciate it. The prayers and good wishes have really brought us through, because I can't imagine how we would have got through with it."

Michaela (27), left, was found strangled in the bathtub of her Legends Hotel suite in Mauritius by her husband John (26).

Mauritian police have arrested and charged five suspects so far in relation to her killing, but they may soon release one of them as it emerged that he may have been wrongly implicated by the man who had a key to Michaela's room.

Detective Inspector Jokhoo of the MCIT (Major Crime Investigation Team) told the Herald this morning that security guard Dassen Narayanen (26), who was charged with conspiracy, gave a false statement to get back at his colleague and to mislead police officers.

Narayanen confessed that he gave an electronic key card to room 1025 to one of the thieves who killed Michaela, and that he had lied about suspect Seenarain Mungoo (39) being in possession of the key to side-track the investigation.

Confrontation

Mr Jokhoo said that Mungoo may now be released after his court hearing on Wednesday while the other suspects will be further interrogated.

"We will have a confrontation between the suspects today or tomorrow, this is standard procedure -- we tell them what they have said about each other so as to break any alliance that may remain between them," he said.

Following the confessions of hotel attendant Avinash Treebhowoon (29), who was charged with murder, and room attendant Raj Theekoy (33), who was charged with conspiracy, police believe that Michaela caught her attackers stealing money from her room.

Police believe that Treebhowoon held her feet while his accomplice Sandip Mooneea (41) strangled her. Theekoy is believed to have stood guard outside, although he maintains that he is an innocent bystander who witnessed the two alleged murderers leaving the room.

hnews@herald.ie

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