Northern Ireland

Michaela McAreavey murder: Husband explains decision to return

Michaela and John McAreavey Image copyright McAreavey family
Image caption John McAreavey said although he found his visit to the island emotionally overwhelming, he 'owed it to Michaela'

John McAreavey, whose wife was killed on honeymoon six years ago, has explained his decision to return to the hotel where she was murdered.

Michaela McAreavey was strangled in Mauritius 12 days after her wedding in County Tyrone.

No-one has been convicted of the 27-year-old's murder in January 2011.

Her husband had not been back at the hotel since her death, but details of his visit were revealed in a BBC Newsline programme on Tuesday night.

He had previously insisted he did not want to return, but he changed his mind on the last day of his recent five-day visit to the island.

He said: "Sometimes you just have to face the pain straight on, and do what you have to do."

The hotel in northern Mauritius used to be called the Legends Hotel, but changed its name to Lux after the murder.

Image caption John McAreavey (left) visited Mauritius again in April of this year

The purpose of Mr McAreavey's visit to the hotel was to meet the management and seek their help in finding new information about Michaela's death.

Afterwards, he said the hotel told him they would do everything they could to help.

BBC Newsline cameras followed him behind-the-scenes throughout the visit to the island.

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

His sister, Claire, who is a lawyer, was also there, as well as Mark Harte, the eldest of Michaela's three brothers.

Together, they tried to raise the profile of the murder case.

They met the Mauritian police, Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth, Director of Public Prosecutions Satyajit Boolell and made a public appeal for more information about the killing.

They offered a reward of 2m Mauritian rupees (£44,000) - almost twice the average annual salary - for information which leads to a conviction in the case.

At times Mr McAreavey found the visit emotionally overwhelming but he said: "Ultimately I think I owe it to Michaela."

In 2012, two hotel workers went on trial accused of the murder.

Avinash Treebhoowoon and Sandip Moneea were cleared in a unanimous verdict by a jury at the Supreme Court.

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

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

New information

Mr McAreavey remarried in September last year.

His wife, Tara, is an accountant from County Kildare.

In the programme, he talked about her, saying: "She supports me so much in this.

"Anyone who loves you, and loves you the right way, will support you in anything that's important in your life."

It is now five weeks since the McAreavey and Harte families made their public appeal for witnesses to come forward.

Some new information has been received, but not enough for the Mauritian police to make any new arrests.

However, the police say the investigation is ongoing and the families have not given up hope.

In the programme, they say they are prepared to keep going back to Mauritius for the next 20 years, if necessary, until the killers are convicted.

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