Families seek privacy 'at most difficult time'


McAREAVEYS:THE FAMILIES of John and Michaela McAreavey asked the media yesterday “not to intrude on their privacy and space at this most difficult of times”.

In a statement issued through a communications consultancy, they said that neither of the families would be responding to press inquiries or giving one-to-one interviews.

The families issued a joint statement in response to the acquittals.

It said: “After waiting 18 months in search of justice for Michaela, and following the endurance of seven harrowing weeks of this trial, there are no words which can describe the sense of devastation and desolation now felt by both families.”

The statement concluded: “The families do not intend making any further comment until they return home to Ireland.”

A further statement, reiterating the two families’ collective decision not to respond to the media, was issued later yesterday afternoon following a surge of press inquiries.

They also requested that the media not approach extended family members or friends for reaction.

“Details and any further media comment will be released tomorrow afternoon,” the statement said.

Close friends of the Hartes and the McAreaveys have respected the families’ request to remain silent.

However, many people, including a number of GAA fans and players, have been reacting to the outcome of the trial on social networking sites.

Members of the McAreavey family are expected to fly back into Dublin on Saturday morning.

Ms McAreavey was the daughter of Tyrone’s All-Ireland football-winning manager and prominent GAA figure Mickey Harte.

She arrived on the island of Mauritius on January 8th, 2011, with her new husband, John McAreavey, and was murdered in the couple’s hotel room two days later.

The trial at the supreme court in Mauritius, which was initially expected to last two weeks, continued for over seven weeks, making it one of the longest trials in Mauritian legal history