The family of murdered honeymooner Michaela McAreavey have thanked Ireland’s biggest sporting organization for supporting them through a difficult year.
Schoolteacher Michaela, daughter of Tyrone team boss Mickey Harte, was murdered on the island of Mauritius last January.
The 27-year-old disturbed burglars at her room in a luxury five star resort on the holiday island.
Husband John found her strangled in the bath two days before they were due to return home.
Two hotel workers will face trial for the murder later this year.
Now dad Mickey has spoken of the support the family received during their traumatic year, particularly from his friends in the GAA community.
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“It has been a very tough year and again I would be grateful to all the people, both within the GAA and outside it, of the support they have given us,” Mickey told UTV television as he announced the arrival of a new grandson in the family.
“I can never say that enough, I do appreciate it and it is a blessing to have a new little baby in our family and we thank God for that.”
Speaking close to the first anniversary of Michaela’s death, All-Ireland winner Mickey revealed how his deep Catholic faith has helped him cope with the loss.
“Faith is not anything that you can sort of pick off a shelf or anything else, you’ve got to live by it,” he said.
“We put our trust in God and sometimes people think, where does this faith come out of?
“I think that’s possibly for everybody, everybody has the possibility to have the level of faith they desire, they just better go and seek it.”
The Tyrone football team manager also thanked his many friends and colleagues in the GAA for their support over the past 12 months.
Harte said: “Sport always been good to us, it has been good to the family, it’s good for the people of this county because it gives them a lot of things to focus on.
“A lot of good people are involved in sport and they’re very supportive people and that’s just not within GAA, that’s across every sport in this country and we’ll always be grateful for that.”