Limerick honeymooners afraid to go to Mauritius following Michaela McAreavey murder

Anne Sheridan

Reporter:

Anne Sheridan

LIMERICK honeymooners are afraid to go to Mauritius and have snubbed the island after the murder of Michaela McAreavey, local travel agents have said.

LIMERICK honeymooners are afraid to go to Mauritius and have snubbed the island after the murder of Michaela McAreavey, local travel agents have said.

A travel agent in Donegal has boycotted the island after images of Ms McAreavey’s body were published in a Mauritian newspaper last weekend, but local agents say they have no plans to veto the once popular honeymoon destination.

Caroline O’Connor, manager of Creation Travel on Cecil Street, said the number of people seeking to go to Mauritius has “gone down dramatically” since the murder, when previously it would have been the honeymooners’ destination of choice.

“Demand has gone down since the murder, and recent times won’t help either. We’re here to service the needs of the customer, but the demand isn’t there. People are just too wary. If you’re going away on a holiday you want to feel safe, but in light of recent events people don’t feel comfortable. It would have been one of the main honeymoon destinations before this happened,” she said.

Tony Brazil, of Limerick Travel, agreed that there’s “been a fall-off in demand” since the murder, when previously they would have taken many bookings to the paradise island off the African coast.

“Obviously people may be influenced by what they read in the papers, and now are choosing other destinations. People are now looking at the Seychelles and the Maldives instead,” he said.

Mr Brazil also said they would not be advising people against Mauritius, and only do choose on the directions of the Department of Foreign Affairs if there’s a high risk to tourists in war prone areas. Meanwhile, Fianna Fail deputy Niall Collins is urging the Minister for Justice Alan Shatter to formally request that the Garda Commissioner send a senior investigator to Mauritius to review the files relating to Michaela McAreavey’s death and to meet with those involved in the prosecution team.

Deputy Collins said there are “serious questions” surrounding the investigation and he believes that the Irish public would welcome direct intervention by Irish investigators. “The terrible mismanagement of this case from the beginning has only added to the grief and heartbreak of the Harte and McAreavey families,” he said.