Fresh investigation into the murder of Michaela McAreavey in Mauritius

Widower John McAreavey questions the timing of the latest probe into his wife’s death

John and Michaela McAreavey on their wedding day at St Malachy’s Church, Ballymacilrory. McAreavey has pursued a campaign for justice since his new bride was strangled in their hotel room at a luxury resort in January 2011.  Photograph: Irish News/PA Wire

John and Michaela McAreavey on their wedding day at St Malachy’s Church, Ballymacilrory. McAreavey has pursued a campaign for justice since his new bride was strangled in their hotel room at a luxury resort in January 2011. Photograph: Irish News/PA Wire

 

The widower of a honeymooner murdered in Mauritius in 2011 has said the country’s government has launched a new investigation into her death.

John McAreavey confirmed the fresh investigation into his wife Michaela’s death on social media, but questioned the timing of the latest probe which comes one week after he criticised Liverpool FC’s commercial partnership with Mauritius.

Mr McAreavey has pursued a campaign for justice since his wife was strangled in their hotel room at the luxury Legends Hotel resort in the fishing village of Grande Gaube in the north east of the country in January 2011.

He has accused Mauritian authorities of indifference and inaction on the case, claiming they are more interested in preserving the island’s reputation as a holiday destination than catching the killers.

Mrs McAreavey, a 27-year-old teacher who was the only daughter of Tyrone Gaelic football boss Mickey Harte, was murdered when she returned to the room alone and disturbed a burglary.

Two former hotel workers were acquitted after a high-profile trial on the holiday island in the summer of 2012.

Ms McAreavey’s family last year criticised the “kangaroo court” that acquitted the two men and Mr McAreavey said the high-profile nature of the trial had turned it into a “big circus act”.

He said his quest for justice would not end until those responsible had been jailed, and that he and Ms McAreavey’s family had spent nine years working with the Mauritian authorities to get justice.

“Our approach was there is no point shouting and roaring here and getting their backs up,” he said during an interview with Newstalk FM. “We needed these guys on side, and we felt we should support them and give them an opportunity to right the wrongs that happened in 2012.

Mr McAreavey previously offered a €50,000 reward in 2017 for information leading to the prosecution of his late wife’s murderer after police investigating the death set up an elite task force. During a trip to Mauritius at the time, Mr McAreavey made a “direct appeal to the people of Mauritius” to come forward with any information in relation to the killing.

Last month, Mr McAreavey said he was “sickened” by Liverpool FC’s commercial link-up with the Indian Ocean island.

Liverpool unveiled Mauritius as its new official tourism and economic development partner.

Hours later, Mr McAreavey said that the decision by the football club was “really disappointing”.

He tagged Liverpool FC on Twitter and posted: “Mauritius can’t guarantee tourists safety and have complete disregard for victims of murder.”

On Tuesday he tweeted: “I note that the Mauritius Gov has launched a ‘new’ police investigation into Michaela’s murder. This comes one week after I questioned their partnership with LFC

“Perhaps people will now understand the type of bullsh*t I have had to put up with for so long. #justiceformichaela.”

Additional reporting from PA