Lawrencetown man John McAreavey is set to remarry five years after the murder of his wife Michaela while they honeymooned in Mauritius
Speculations began to mount when John appeared recently at a premiere event for the new James Bond film Spectre, with Belfast accountant Tara Brennan who was wearing a sparkling ring on her wedding finger.
A source later confirmed that the couple are engaged.
“It happened just a few weeks ago, around the start of October,” said the family friend.
“Everyone is very pleased for them, they are a lovely couple, it’s hard to describe.
“It’s a beautiful thing and John has to rebuild his life.”
The death of Michaela McAreavey nee Harte, the 27-year-old Irish language teacher and daughter of Tyrone Gaelic football manager Mickey Harte, sparked a huge murder investigation, but authorities still have not tracked down the killer.
John and Tara are said to have met around two years ago on a night out in Dublin and have since become closer. It is believed that the couple holidayed together in New York last August.
Speaking about his new romance John said: “Myself and Tara get on really well and we’re really good friends.
“That relationship continues to blossom and I am so thankful she came into my life, she’s a wonderful person and I love spending time with her.”
Looking back on Michaela’s death, he said: “For sure, the pain of losing a loved one in such a cruel, cruel way and then to be compounded by the injustice of everything afterwards, I’ll admit that at times I did think, ‘No, this is just too much’.
“That burden, that weight was just too much for me, too much of a heavy cross to ask someone to bear.”
But John has always credited his strong faith and relationship with God, who he describes as ‘a personal friend’, with helping him through.
“What helps me be optimistic is that I know where Michaela is now, and I know she is very happy where she is. She’s just in a different place now,” he said.
“Michaela will always be a part of my life,” he added and he has set up a charity, ‘Michaela Foundation: Life Without Limits,’ to commemorate her values of a love of Irish language and cultural identity, faith, fun, wellbeing and fashion.