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Michaela Harte, daughter of Mickey, dies on honeymoon

The well-known daughter of Tyrone football coach Mickey Harte is killed while on honeymoon in Mauritius.

The late Michaela Harte, pictured with her father Mickey, in July 2006.
The late Michaela Harte, pictured with her father Mickey, in July 2006.
Image: PA

MICHAELA HARTE, the daughter of Tyrone gaelic football coach Mickey Harte, has been killed in Mauritius.

Harte (27), a former contestant in the Rose of Tralee, was on honeymoon on the Indian Ocean island when she died, RTÉ reports. She had married Down footballer John McAreavey on December 30 in Co Tyrone.

They had arrived in Mauritius on Saturday and were due to stay there until their return home this Sunday.

A spokesman for the Mauritian police force told TheJournal.ie that Harte’s husband had found her dead in their hotel room this morning, and that an inquiry into her death was ongoing.

A post mortem is to be carried out on her body tomorrow morning at 5am Irish time, the spokesman added.

A statement released this evening jointly by Mickey Harte and Bishop John McAreavey, the uncle of the Down footballer who is Bishop of Dromore, asked for “privacy and space at this time of profound grief”.

“Both families are deeply shocked and devastated by this tragic news,” it read. “We ask for prayers for Michaela, John and their families and loved ones.”

On RTÉ’s 9pm News, Tommie Gorman quoted the Bishop as saying Michaela’s family had not ruled out the prospect of foul play in her death.

The Tyrone GAA county board tonight said Michaela, “and indeed the wider Harte family of Marian [her mother], Mark, Michael and Matthew have been very closely associated with the present senior football team since Mickey took over as Tyrone minor manager in 1991.

“It is difficult for us to comprehend the devastation that her new husband John and the Harte family must be feeling at this time.”

Ulster GAA chairman Aogan Ó Fearghail said the Harte family had “made a significant contribution to the GAA for many years, and as a result a wave of shock has come over the entire GAA.

“The thoughts and prayers of everyone are with the Harte family at this time. We will all miss a talented, gifted and beautiful young woman.”

The Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed that it was providing consular assistance to the family of a deceased Irish national. The Irish embassy in South Africa is also involved in the operation.

Harte, an Irish teacher at St Patrick’s College in Dungannon, Co Tyrone, is survived by her parents, husband, and three brothers.

Read more: Michaela Harte investigation upgraded to murder enquiry >

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Gavan Reilly

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