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Family’s tribute to Lyra ahead of funeral

TRAGIC: Lyra McKee TRAGIC: Lyra McKee
By Conor McParland

THE family of murdered journalist Lyra McKee have paid tribute to her ahead of her funeral today (Wednesday).

The 29 year-old, who grew up in North Belfast, was fatally wounded after shots were fired during rioting in Derry last Thursday night.

Her funeral will take place at 1pm at St Anne’s Cathedral with the service led jointly by the Anglican dean of Belfast, the very Reverend Stephen Forde, and Fr Martin Magill.

In a statement released on Tuesday night, Lyra’s family paid tribute to their “gentle” and “innocent soul”.

“On Thursday 18th April our beautiful Lyra was taken from us. A daughter, a sister, an aunt, a great-aunt, a partner, a niece, a cousin, and above all, a best friend and confidante to so many of us.

“A friend to all, a gentle innocent soul who wouldn’t wish ill on anyone. Such a warm and innocent heart, she was the greatest listener, someone who had time for everyone.

“She was a smart, strong-minded woman who believed in passionately in inclusivity, justice and truth. Lyra spoke to and made friends with anybody and everybody, no matter what their background, those of all political views and those with none. This openness, and her desire to bring people together, made her totally apolitical.

“We would like to thank everyone for the outpouring of support and love we have witnessed this past few days. It has been of immense solace that Lyra meant so much to so many.

“We ask everyone who knew Lyra to continue her message of positivity and hope, by respecting her memory with dignity and respect. We as a family know that the whole community has been touched by the events of Thursday night and that many are rightly angry.

“However, we would ask that Lyra’s life and her personal philosophy are used as an example to us all as we face this tragedy together. Lyra’s answer would have been simple, the only way to overcome hatred and intolerance is with love, understanding and kindness.”

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