Northern Ireland

Family bring Michaela McAreavey's body home to Tyrone

The coffin of Michaela McAreavey makes the journey to her home in County Tyrone
Image caption The coffin of Michaela McAreavey makes the journey to her home in County Tyrone

The body of Michaela McAreavey who was murdered on her honeymoon in Mauritius has been returned to Northern Ireland.

Her husband, John, was on the flight into Belfast that brought his wife of just 12 days back to her home in her coffin.

She was killed in their honeymoon hotel room on Monday.

In just over a week, Mr McAreavey had enjoyed one of the happiest days of his life - his wedding day - and endured one of the saddest.

Mrs McAreavey, 27, was the daughter of Tyrone Gaelic football boss Mickey Harte and his wife Marian.

She was found murdered in her room at the Legends Hotel on Monday. Three men have been charged in connection with her killing.

It's thought that she interrupted thieves in her room taking money from a purse. They panicked and she was strangled.

At lunch-time, the plane carrying her remains touched down at Belfast City Airport.

John McAreavey was accompanied on the flight by his father, Brendan, his brother, Brian and Mrs McAreavey's brother, Mark.

There to meet them at the airport was the Bishop of Dromore John McAreavey, uncle of the groom, who had greeted the couple warmly when he married them on their wedding day, 30 December.

The bride's three brothers were also present to escort her body home.

The coffin was covered with a purple drape as the hearse drove from the airport. The family followed in cars behind.

The procession made its way slowly out of Belfast on its way to Mrs McAreavey's family home near Ballygawley where her parents await her.

Mrs McAreavey's funeral will be held next Monday at 1230 GMT at St Malachy's Church, Ballymacilroy - the same County Tyrone church where she was married.

The Harte and McAreavey families have appealed for privacy. The wake and family service on the evening of Friday 14 January will be for immediate family only. Anyone wishing to pay respects can do so at the family home on Saturday and Sunday.

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