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24th Apr 2019

Family of Lyra McKee issue statement ahead of funeral

Rudi Kinsella

The young journalist’s funeral will take place in Belfast on Wednesday.

Lyra McKee’s family has released a statement ahead of her funeral, which is due to take place in St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast, at 1pm on Wednesday.

In the statement, which was issued to RTÉ, McKee’s family described Lyra as a “friend to all, a gentle innocent soul who wouldn’t wish ill on anyone.”

You can read the statement in full here:

“On Thursday April 18 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 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.”

They then asked for her memory to be used as an example, and urged people to fight hatred with understanding and kindness.

“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.

“We are a private family and would ask as a family that our privacy is respected at this impossibly difficult time. We will, in time, speak to you all, but need space and time in the coming days and weeks to deal with the trauma of Lyra’s sudden tragic death. Until that time, we would request that all media contact could be made via our legal representatives.”

People who planned on going were previously asked by McKee’s partner to wear Harry Potter and Marvel attire, so that the event would be a “celebration of her life”.