Search icon


24th Apr 2019

‘Someone who had time for everyone’: Hundreds turn out as Lyra McKee is laid to rest

Journalists formed a guard of honour for their murdered colleague.

Anna O'Rourke

Mourners from north and south of the border have attended the funeral of Lyra McKee in Belfast.

Journalists formed a guard of honour for their colleague, who was killed by dissident republicans during rioting on the Creggan estate in Derry last Thursday night.

Ms McKee’s mother Joan McKee, brothers Gary and David, sisters Joan, Nichola and Mary and partner Sara Canning lead the congregation at St Anne’s Cathedral.

Though the 29-year-old was from a Catholic background, her family chose a Protestant venue because they wanted a cross-community service.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, British Prime Minister Teresa May and UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn were also in attendance.

Celebrant Fr Martin Magill told those who had packed out the cathedral that Ms McKee was “a powerful example” of the pen being mightier than the sword and called for an end to fighting in the North.

“I plead with you to take the road of non-violence to achieve your political ends.

“We need to send a very different message and so I appeal to those who have information about Lyra’s murder but who haven’t yet come forward to do so now.”

Ms McKee’s family and friends paid tribute to her in a statement yesterday, describing her as a “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.”

The so-called New IRA has taken responsibility for Ms McKee’s death.

A 57-year-old woman was arrested in relation to the murder yesterday but was later released.

Two men in their late teens who had been arrested over the killing on Sunday were also released.