Michaela, Mo Dheirfiúr is an Irish Language Broadcast Fund documentary which charts the journey of Michaela McAreavey’s eldest brother Mark as he approaches the 2nd anniversary of his sister’s death. The documentary will be shown on TG4 tonight, Thursday 10th January, at 9.30pm and on BBC Two NI on Sunday 13th January at 10pm.
Throughout the documentary Mark speaks for the first time about life without his only sister Michaela, the eight difficult weeks he endured in Mauritius for her murder trial and his family’s commitment to protect his sister’s legacy. In the documentary, filmed over the course if a year, we gain an insight into who Michaela was in the words of those who knew her best and an understanding about how they are dealing with life without her. It is a story about loss, about faith in God and the strength of family.
On 10th January 2011 Michaela McAreavey was murdered whilst on honeymoon in Mauritius. The aftermath of her death was played out in the full glare of the media spotlight. Mark travelled out to Mauritius to bring his sister home. In 2012 he returned to the tropical island for her murder trial. Again the family had to deal with a very private matter in public.
While in Mauritius, Mark speaks candidly about the difficulties of the trial but also his commitment to representing his family. The documentary also charts Michaela’s family’s determination to preserve her legacy by launching a charity in her name. The Michaela Foundation aims to promote the interests and values which defined her character. She was a proud Gael, she spoke Irish, was a passionate and committed pioneer and shared her family’s love for all things GAA. The documentary captures the evolution of the charity and the family explain their future plans and ambitions.
In the programme Mark Harte says: “Things happen in this life that we don’t understand that we will never understand. But what choice do we have? Stop everything? Stop enjoying things, stop taking part? That’s not how we are. We’ll get on with it.”
Mickey Harte says: “It’s been a difficult journey but together with the prayers of the people and the closeness of our family we’ve managed to come through that. It’s a place that you would never want anyone to have to go but if we were going to go there, we certainly have a great family to go with.”
The programme is a Below The Radar TV production. It was produced and directed by Lynette Fay and Denise O’Connor. Lynette Fay said: ‘Michaela was a Gael through and through. This documentary tells her story in the language she loved. I thank Michaela’s family for speaking candidly to us about a very private matter and I think the audience will be inspired by their strength and determination.”
Denise O’Connor said: “Undoubtedly, this has been an exceptionally difficult journey for Mark and his family. Since Michaela’s death, her family have consistently demonstrated great dignity. We’re grateful that they put their trust in us to tell their story.”
Michaela, Mo Dheirfiúr is a co-production for TG4 and BBC Northern Ireland supported by Northern Ireland Screen’s Irish Language Broadcast Fund.