She never had tea without a biscuit


Michaela Harte and John McAreavy on their wedding day

It’s funny the things that pop into your mind sometimes. Do you remember that little bit of marketing genius – ” a drink’s too wet without one” – a marketing slogan for Rich Tea biscuits?

It popped into my head while reading about the awful murder of that poor girl Michaela Harte. I just can’t stop thinking about how such a simple everyday pleasure like a biscuit with a cup of tea could have had such tragic consequences.

I know it’s not as simple as that – but when confronted with such uncomprehending evil, your mind searches for meaning, for reason in the smallest things. 

She never had tea without a biscuit, writes Anita Guidera in today’s Irish Independent. It was that simple act of going to her room for a biscuit to accompany her after-lunch cup of tea that led to her disturbing intruders who callously murdered her. Such a simple act – such dreadful consequences.

Of course the sad fact is that there are murders all over the world all the time, but I think we identify so strongly with Michaela’s story  – a beautiful, much-loved daughter, sister, wife, friend, murdered on her honeymoon. We knew her so well – she was us in many ways – those of us who have travelled on the holiday of a life-time for our honeymoons, starting out on married life with all those hopes, plans and dreams for a long and happy future together; those of us who have experienced the fervour that is the GAA in counties throughout the length and breadth of Ireland; those of us with beloved daughters, sisters, friends; those of us with favourite teachers…..those of us who just like a biscuit with our cup of tea.

The unbearably sad picture in today’s paper of Michaela’s husband John, wearing her wedding and engagement rings on a  gold chain around his neck  is a poignant reminder of  their stolen future together. That he will have to bury his beautiful bride next week in the same small country church they were married in less than a month ago is almost too heartbreaking to bear.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a hanam uasal


6 responses »

  1. What a tragic story. Such acts of inhuman brutality are impossible to understand, nevermind forgive. She sounds like such a wonderful young woman. Does the Irish you’ve written mean something like “Her soul will go back to God”?

  2. It’s such a heatbreaking story Christine, but yes, I do think her family have it in them to forgive. As for the gaelic, you know that these things don’t translate so well in a literal sense – which is why Irish is such a beautiful language I think – but your translation was pretty much on the mark – roughly translated – “may her noble soul be at the right hand of God”.

  3. This was an absolutely appalling crime on a lovely person and a whole family – I am so deeply saddened by the tragedy.

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