Published Saturday, 03 November 2012
The First and Deputy First Minister with Michaela's family. (© Michael Cooper)
Match for Michaela saw All-Ireland champions Donegal take on an Ulster select side in an exhibition match at the packed west Belfast stadium.
It was organised as a tribute to the 27-year-old Ballygawley school teacher who was murdered on honeymoon in Mauritius in January last year.
An exciting and competitive game of football was played and Ulster - led by Michaela's father Mickey Harte - fought their way to an impressive 2-12 to 1-12 victory over Jim McGuinness's all conquering Donegal side.
Ulster's goals were scored by Martin Penrose and Darren Hughes.
However the evening was about more than just football with all the money raised going towards the Michaela Foundation.
Everything about it was a touch of class. We needed this to be a night of hope... and that’s what we got. This is a good lesson for people.
A crowd of 18,662 attended, including Stormont leaders Martin McGuinness and Peter Robinson - at his second ever GAA match.
Other political leaders including Alasdair McDonnell were also there, as well as local sports stars including Ulster great David Humphreys
There was a party atmosphere with traditional Irish music being played and performances from Gortin X Factor star Janet Devlin and Michaela's Girls Camp.
Radio DJ Hector Ó hEochagáin hosted the proceedings.
Michaela's husband John, who organised Match for Michaela, said the funds will be used to grow the Michaela Girls Camp into other counties and to continue her legacy.
Meanwhile Mickey Harte thanked those who came out and said it had been an "uplifting" night for the families.
"It was everything we dreamed it might be and more," he told UTV.
"I know the work that has gone into making this night happen and the people who put so much work into it deserve the support they got.
"People recognised this was going to be a good night and they had a brilliant night, everything about it was a touch of class and that's what it needed to be
"We're so appreciative of the support we got since this tragedy happened to our family, it has been overwhelming, in letters, cards and prayers it's coming all the way and seeing people flock into here tonight with a smile on their face is uplifting."
© UTV News