Mickey Harte, the father of Michaela Harte who was tragically murdered on her honeymoon in Mauritius last year, will not be attending the court proceedings in Mauritius set to begin later this month.
Instead, Mickey Harte will be leading his Tyrone GAA football team in their championship opener against Armagh this month.
The Belfast Telegraph reports that Mickey Harte, 56, will not be attending the court hearings, but that Michaela’s grieving widow John McAreavey, 31, will be on hand to give evidence during the trial.
Michaela Harte was tragically murdered while on her honeymoon with John McAreavey in Mauritius in early 2011. Michaela had returned to her room by herself one afternoon in order to get some biscuits to have with tea during lunch. After he felt Michaela was taking too long, he returned to the room only to find his new wife murdered.
Police confirmed that Michaela returned to her room while a burglary was in process. The two local Mauritian intruders strangled Michaela.
Now, Avinash Threebhowon and Sandip Moneea are facing trial for their crimes against the Ballygawley schoolteacher. Their trial is set to begin in the Mauritius capital of Port Louis on May 22nd.
Damien Harvey, Pro of the County Board, told the Irish Daily Star that “It’s my understanding that he [Mickey Harte] will not be travelling to Mauritius for the trial. His focus is the football and I would expect that he will be leading us into the match.”
“There is a management structure in place in the event that changes but knowing Mickey, he would be very keen to take Tyrone into the first match,” added Harvey. A legend in the GAA world, Mickey Harte also recently signed a contract confirming himself as Tyrone manager for the next three years.
Sources close to the Harte family believe that with Michaela’s undeniable passion for Tyrone GAA, she would support her father’s decision to stay behind to manage the team’s opener.