Northern Ireland

Michaela McAreavey: Husband offers £44k reward over murder

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media caption'Never a late time for justice' - John McAreavey

The husband of a woman murdered on their honeymoon in Mauritius has offered a reward of 2m Mauritian rupees (£44,000) for information.

John McAreavey offered a sum that is almost twice the average annual salary when he spoke at a news conference in Port Louis, Mauritius, on Tuesday.

He appealed to people to come forward about the death of his wife, Michaela.

He said they had felt "let down" and even "betrayed" by a process that, he said, had failed them.

Michaela was strangled in a hotel while on honeymoon on the island six years ago.

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionMichaela McAreavey's husband is making a fresh appeal for help

It is rare for rewards to be used in Mauritius, but Mr McAreavey said he believed something needed to be done to break the deadlock in the case. He wants those who killed Michaela, 27, to be brought to justice.

Image copyright PA
Image caption John and Michaela McAreavey on their wedding day six years ago

Mr McAreavey told journalists at the conference that, over the past six and half years, Michaela's family's resolve to win justice for her remained "undiminished".

"We believe we have given the Mauritian authorities every chance to deliver on their very public promise that justice would be done," he said.

"However, until this visit, the reality falls far short of that and as the years have passed, it appears that the unofficial policy has become one of 'out of sight - out of mind.'

"But we have no intention of just slipping out of mind or sight. Michaela deserves justice and we intend to get it. We should not have needed to make this very painful return journey."

Image caption Michaela McAreavey was found dead in a bath at the four-star Legends Hotel, after returning to her room to get biscuits

He said that, quite bluntly, they had felt "let down time and time again".

"We take some comfort from the assurances given by the prime minister yesterday that Michaela will get justice, but to achieve that we need the help of those who may know something, but have not yet come forward for whatever reason," he said.

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionMichaela's brother, Mark Harte, urged people to 'be brave' and come forward with information

The family hopes that the substantial reward they are offering, will send "a powerful message" about their determination to get justice.

"As time marches on this could be our final chance to obtain justice for Michaela, but we can't do it alone. We need the help of the people of Mauritius. Please help us as our fight goes on," he said.

Mr McAreavey said if he had to come back to Mauritius again and again, he would do it.

Image caption John McAreavey (centre left), with Michaela's brother, Mark Harte (left) and his sister, Claire McAreavey, met Mauritian Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth

On Monday, he met Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth after police told him an elite task force was now working on the investigation into his wife's murder.

Image caption Mr McAreavey and his sister attracted media attention on the way to police headquarters

Mrs McAreavey, 27, was found strangled in a bath at a luxury hotel 12 days after her wedding in January 2011. Two hotel workers were tried for murder, but found not guilty in 2012.

Mauritian police launched a fresh investigation following the trial, but it came to nothing.

Mr McAreavey has travelled to Mauritius with his sister, Claire, and Mark Harte, Michaela's eldest brother, saying he was prepared "to go to the ends of the earth to ensure that justice is achieved for Michaela".

Mr McAreavey remarried in September last year.

Related Topics

More on this story