An image of pure happiness – a honeymoon photo of murdered Michaela McAreavey with her husband John – has been shared by the heartbroken groom ahead of her funeral.
It was just a casual picture, taken on a warm evening by an accommodating passer-by.
On a balcony with the lights flickering on the water behind them, an embrace between two sun-kissed newly-weds hopelessly in love and looking forward to a new life together. To friends they were inseparable, known simply as Mic and Mac.
Now the picture will be treasured forever by the young teacher’s devastated husband, who took the difficult decision to share it with the general public as he prepared to bury his sweetheart on Monday in a graveyard beside the church where they married just after Christmas.
He felt another picture with the love of his life outside Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris also showed how much she meant to him.
Michaela was killed on Monday by thieves she interrupted in her hotel room in Mauritius.
Irish President Mary McAleese will head dignitaries among thousands expected to attend requiem mass at St Malachy’s church, Ballymacilroy, just a few miles outside the Co Tyrone village of Ballygawley on Monday afternoon.
The funeral for the devout tee-total Catholic, who was the daughter of Mickey Harte, the celebrated manager of Tyrone’s gaelic football team, is set to be one of the biggest the county has ever witnessed.
Three employees at the Legends Hotel where she was killed have been charged in connection with the death, two with murder and one with conspiracy to murder.
Police say one of the murder accused, room attendant Avinash Treebhoowoon, 29, has confessed to the killing. His co-accused, floor supervisor Sandip Moneea, 41, has made no such admission.