Funeral held of Irish bride killed in Mauritius

17th January 2011, Comments 0 comments

Thousands of mourners attended the funeral Monday of the daughter of a top Irish sports figure who was murdered while on honeymoon in Mauritius.

Michaela McAreavey, whose father Mickey Harte manages top Gaelic football side Tyrone, was laid to rest at the same church in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland, where she was married just 19 days earlier.

Irish President Mary McAleese and Ireland's top Catholic churchman, Cardinal Sean Brady, were among the mourners for the 27-year-old teacher and former beauty pageant contestant.

In bright sunshine, Harte helped support his daughter's widower, Gaelic footballer John McAreavey, as they walked behind the hearse on its way to the church.

Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson told lawmakers that the murder was "one of the rare tragedies that has captured public attention and united the community in grief".

One of the three hotel employees arrested over the January 10 murder has confessed his involvement but the chief suspect, Sandip Moneaa, continues to deny any involvement.

Police believe McAreavey was strangled after she stumbled in on a burglary when she returned to her chalet at a luxury resort on the Indian Ocean island.

© 2011 AFP

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