Donegal mourns Michaela's death

As Donegal mourns the tragic death of Mickey Harte's daughter, Michaela, numerous close connections with Donegal and its people have emerged in recent days.

As Donegal mourns the tragic death of Mickey Harte's daughter, Michaela, numerous close connections with Donegal and its people have emerged in recent days.

Former Donegal footballing star, Martin McHugh, paid tribute yesterday to Michaela McAreavy, the only daughter of Tyrone boss, Mickey Harte, who was murdered this week while on honeymoon in Mauritius.

Recalling a trip from Dublin in the company of Michaela, who was a regular model for McElhinneys Stores in Ballybofey, Martin recounted her love of Rich Tea biscuits.

"A few years ago we were travelling from Dublin. My wife Patrece, and Michaela and I stopped at a service station in Monaghan and bought three cups of tea. I was just back in the car after handing out the tea when Michaela asked me if I wanted a biscuit.

"'I could never drink a cup of tea without having my rich tea biscuit,' she said. She had the biscuits in her bag," explained Martin, who, like the rest of Donegal and the country, is still in shock and coming to terms with Michaela's death.

"She was a really nice girl. I met her at various functions and games down the years and got to know her reasonably well. She was a lovely person. The one thing that always struck me she always called Mickey 'daddy' and never Mickey. My heart really goes out to Mickey, his wife Marian, the three boys Mark, Mattie and Michael and to her husband John and the McAreavy family.

The double All-Star is just one of a number or Donegal people that have joined in paying tribute to the woman described by her grieving father Mickey as his "little jewel."

Another to speak fondly of Michaela yesterday was St. Eunan's player and former Donegal player John Haran. John is a close friend of the Harte family and is particularly close to her brother Mark.

"Michaela was a real lady. She was a lovely person, kind and gentle and was always in good form. She never had a bad word to say about anyone. It is devastating news and hard to comprehend," said John, who also knew her from her days when they were both students at St. Mary's College in Belfast.

Others to extend their sympathies were county chairman P.J. McGowan, former Ulster GAA President Tom Daly, Brian McEniff and Mickey McMahon chairman of the Southern Regional Board of the GAA.

Messages of sympathy were also extended to the Harte and McAreavy families from Donegal Mayor Cora Harvey, Fr. Cathal O'Fearraigh PP, Ballyshannon and the Church of Ireland Bishop of Derry and Raphoe Kenneth Good.

The three men held in connection with the murder of Michaela McAreavey were charged yesterday afternoon.

Avinash Treebhoowoon 29, and Raj Theekoy, 33, have been charged with the 27 year olds murder, while a third man, Sandip Moneea, 41, has been charged with conspiracy to murder.

All three are from Mauritius and are employees of the Legends Hotel where the McAreaveys were staying. Two of the men are room attendants, while the third is a supervisor.

The three men have been remanded in custody until 19 January.

A post-mortem showed that Michaela had been strangled.