Northern Ireland

Tributes paid to daughter of GAA manager Mickey Harte

Image caption Michaela Harte married John McAreavey on 30 December

The daughter of Tyrone GAA manager Mickey Harte has been found dead on her honeymoon in Mauritius.

Michaela Harte, 27, married John McAreavey, a Down GAA footballer, on 30 December.

Ms Harte taught Irish at St Patrick's Girls Academy in Dungannon, County Tyrone and was a former Rose of Tralee contestant.

Joint statement from Mr Mickey Harte and Catholic Bishop of Dromore, John McAreavey

Bishop McAreavey, an uncle of the groom, married the couple at St Malachy's Church in Ballymacilroy.

"We ask for prayers for Michaela, John and their families and loved ones," the statement said.

"Both families are deeply shocked and devastated by this tragic news and they ask for privacy and space at this time of profound grief."

The Tyrone GAA County Board

"It is difficult for us to comprehend the devastation that her new husband John and the Harte family must be feeling at this time.

"This tragedy will be sorely felt throughout the Tyrone GAA family and on behalf of our players, officials and members in Tyrone, and around the world we wish to express our deepest sympathy to John, Mickey, Marian, Mark, Michael and Matthew."

Family priest, Father Brian Hackett

"Her big thing was her daddy being the manager of Tyrone, she went everywhere with him. She was a religious girl and a dedicated Tyrone supporter."

Fermanagh, South Tyrone MP, Michelle Gildernew

"Michaela was a beautiful and talented young woman who will be sadly missed," she said.

"The fact that just a week ago she was experiencing the love and happiness of her wedding to County Down Footballer John McAreavey in the company of family and friends makes it even more difficult to take in that she has passed away."

SDLP Leader Margaret Ritchie MP

"To lose a child in any circumstances is upsetting but for her life to be cut short while on honeymoon and at such a young age is so very sad,

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams MP

Mr Adams expressed his shock at the news of the death of Ms Harte and has extended his deepest sympathy to the Harte and McAreavey families.

Ulster Unionist leader Tom Elliott

"I am certain that the tight knit community of Tyrone - and indeed the whole of Northern Ireland - will offer their support and help in these tragic circumstances.

"It is difficult to comprehend the loss felt by the families considering that her marriage only took place 12 days ago and the couple were looking forward to a life together in the years ahead."

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness MP

"Just a matter of days ago it was a joyous occasion when Michaela married John (McAreavey) and no doubt they planned a long and happy life together.

"They had so much to live for but now their hopes have been cruelly dashed by the tragic death of Michaela.

"Michaela was always close to her father's side during many great days for Tyrone football. Her enthusiasm for her native county, for which she was an excellent ambassador, knew no bounds.

"My thoughts and prayers are with her husband John, father Mickey, mother Marian and the entire Harte and McAreavey families at this difficult time."

SDLP Fermanagh and South Tyrone MLA Tommy Gallagher

"My sympathies and the sympathies of those I represent go to the Harte family and Michaela Harte's new husband and his family.

"This is just heartbreaking news and it really has stunned the entire community, people are finding it very difficult to take in.

"It's hard to put into words the outpouring of grief at hearing this awful news."

Journalist and former sports presenter, Adrian Logan

"Her father adored her.

"He was totally devoted and just thought the world of her, he told me: 'She's my little jewel'," he said.

"He refused to do any post-match interviews after those games until she stood beside him. That's how much she meant to him. She was his number one fan."

Danny Murphy, Secretary of the GAA's Ulster Council

"On behalf of the Ulster Council GAA I would like to express my sincere and heartfelt sympathy to Mickey, Marion, the Harte Family and John McAreavey on the untimely passing of Micheala.

"The Harte Family have made a significant contribution to the GAA over many years and this news will shock and sadden the entire Association. We will miss a beautiful, talented and gifted young woman.

"My thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends at this tragic time."

First Minister Peter Robinson

"It was with deep sadness that I learnt of the death of Michaela Harte.

"I would like to pass my deepest condolences to her husband John, her father Mickey and to all of her family. My thoughts and prayers this evening are with them all."

Fr Gerard McAleer, co-manager of the Tyrone GAA team and family friend

"I have known Michaela all her life, from the day she came into the world, she was just gone 27, and I had seen her over the years emerge as a very beautiful well-adjusted young woman.

"I was at her wedding, I concelebrated the wedding mass, and then just like everyone else i'm bewildered to hear about the circumstances of her death, it's beyond words."

Jim Allister, leader of Traditional Unionist Voice

"Sincere condolences to the Harte family on their dreadful loss."

Criostoir O'Cuana, GAA president

"Michaela was a familiar face to so many GAA followers up and down the country having been at her father's side through what has been the most memorable period in the history of the GAA in Tyrone.

"Her radiant smile, passion for life and interest in all things Gaelic were immediately obvious to anyone who crossed her path and the loss to those who loved her most must be incalculable at this most difficult time."

Ann Walker, Action MS chief executive

"The Action MS family is devastated and saddened to hear of the sudden and tragic death of Michaela, the only daughter of our much loved patron, Mickey Harte.

"As a schoolgirl we remember well Michaela's energy and youthful enthusiasm in support of Action MS fundraising in the Ballygawley area."