Facebook tributes pour in for Michaela Harte

11 Jan 2011

A Facebook page set up to pay tribute to Michaela Harte, the daughter of Tyrone football manager Mickey Harte who was killed while on her honeymoon, has already amassed more than 7,000 followers and messages of condolence are pouring in by the minute.

R.I.P Michaela Harte features messages, photos and a link to a video on RTÉ Sport which shows the former Rose of Tralee contestant and her father speaking to Pat Kenney about Tyrone football and the county’s third All-Ireland win.

Michaela’s husband, Down footballer John McAreavey, found her body in their room yesterday at the Legends Hotel in the village of Grand Gaube, Mauritius. She had returned to the room to fetch biscuits for her tea while they were having lunch and when she didn’t return McAreavey went to check on her.

An autopsy conducted this morning concluded that Michaela (27), who taught Irish at St Patrick’s Girls Academy in Dungannon, had been strangled. Police have said there was no forced entry into the room of the couple, who were married on 30 December.

Superintendent Yoosoof Soopun said police officers have identified six potential suspects and they were confident of making an arrest.

UPDATE – 12 January 2011

Three workers at the Legends Hotel have been charged in connection with Michaela’s death and have been remanded in custody.

Room attendant Abinash Treeboowoon (29) and floor supervisor Sandip Moneea (41) have been charged with murder. Room attendant Raj Theekoy (33) has been charged with conspiracy to murder.

The three men are due to return to court next Wednesday, when they are expected to be either released or formally charged in the crime.

The Michaela tribute page on Facebook, R.I.P. Michaela Harte, has now drawn nearly 20,000 followers.

Michaela’s family reportedly hopes to return her body home by the weekend.

Tina Costanza