Family prepares to bring body home

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John McAreavey and wife Michaela on their wedding day at St. Malacheys Church Ballymacilrory

The husband of murdered honeymooner Michaela McAreavey has described her as the “rock” of his life as he prepares to bring her body home from Mauritius.

In an emotional statement John McAreavey, 30, said his “beautiful wife” was his best friend after she was strangled in her room in the luxury Legends Hotel on Monday.

The couple, from Northern Ireland, had been married only 10 days.

Three hotel workers have appeared in court charged in connection with the murder of the 27-year-old teacher, who was the daughter of Mickey Harte, the celebrated manager of Ireland’s all-conquering Tyrone gaelic football team.

Mr McAreavey said: “I can’t describe in words how lost I feel as Michaela is not just the light of my life – she is my life.”

Mrs McAreavey’s brother, Mark Harte, as well as her husband’s brother and parents have arrived in Mauritius to help with arrangements to take her body back for a planned funeral at St Malachy’s Church, close to the family home outside Ballygawley, where she married on December 30.

Mr McAreavey, who had been on his own on the island until relatives arrived, added: “My beautiful wife, my best friend, my rock Michaela, has been taken from me and I still can’t take it in. Our hopes, our dreams and our future together are gone. I love my wife very, very much and my world revolved around her.”

The Co Down gaelic footballer said he shared his pain with Michaela’s parents, Mickey and Marian, and her three brothers.

Three hotel employees were remanded in custody on Wednesday in connection with the killing which has sent shockwaves through Ireland. Two faced murder charges and one conspiracy to murder.

The Mauritius Police Force said the two men charged with the murder were Avinash Treebhoowoon, 29, a room attendant from Plaine des Roches, and Sandip Moneea, 41, a floor supervisor from Petit Raffray. Room attendant Raj Theekoy, 33, from Ramnarain Cottage, faces the conspiracy charge.

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