Mickey Harte, the father of tragic Irishwoman Michaela McAreavey, has said he wants to stand back from the details of the murder trial now under way in Mauritius.

Harte, whose 27 year old only daughter was murdered on her honeymoon last January, made his comments at a prayer service in Moyross, County Limerick during the town's novena celebrations.

'I’m detached from that,' he told the crowd in a speech that was reported in The Irish Examiner this week. 'To me, that is another issue that is happening somewhere else. We are dealing with the issues, right with us at home in our own family. That will focus all our attention and we wouldn’t be distracted by anything like that.'

'If we want to be distracted we will do it through sport, we will do it through our own good friends and family. Those are the people that bring us through the times that are tough and that is enough to be focussed on at the minute. I am not particularly involved in any of that,' Harte added.

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Meanwhile Harte said his son-in-law John McAreavey was coping 'admirably' with his tragic loss.

'He’s devastated as you would expect he would be. He’s a really good lad and we are privileged to have him as our son-in-law. He’s a really, really nice young man. I said on Michaela’s wedding day that she picked well, and I’ve said since that I’m beginning to realise every day since that she picked even better than I thought. He’s just a gem of a man.'

'He’s just a lovely, lovely lad. You couldn’t not enjoy being with him because he’s a very, very solid young man and to think of what he has had to deal with and cope with and to show such strength is encouraging for the likes of me as well. This is not to mix up the fact that he is not devastated, of course he is, that he is not heartbroken, of course he is but there’s a great inner strength in him that I admire and obviously Michaela saw that in him too.'

'God and Michaela will give us the strength to cope with the difficult times and it is probably when the times are difficult that they are more close to us and I believe that. That belief gives me solace and strength and the ability to know that it is a day at a time. That is the only way we can live our life now and I suppose that is a blessing to be able to do that.'