- 24 Apr 19
Father Martin Magill received a standing ovation during his eulogy, when he spoke directly to politicians at the service saying: "Why, In God's name, does it take the death of a 29 year old woman with her whole life in front of her, to get to this point?"
Journalist and activist Lyra McKee's funeral took place in St. Anne's Cathedral, in Belfast, this afternoon.
The 29 year old was tragically shot dead by dissident republicans - branding themselves as the 'New Ira' - on Thursday evening, April 18, in the Creggan estate of Derry City.
Her death led to widespread condemnation from politicians and prominent figures from throughout the UK and Ireland.
As a gesture of solidarity following her death, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Prime Minister Theresa May, leader of the UK Opposition Jeremny Corbyn and President Michael D. Higgins all attended the funeral this afternoon, as well as the leaders of the major political parties in Northern Ireland, including the DUP's Arlene Foster and Sinn Fein's Mary Lou McDonald.
Lyra McKee's sister Nichola spoke at the service and received a standing ovation after quoting the journalist's own words in her speech, saying: "We must change our own world, one piece at a time. Now let's get to work."
"We must change our own world one piece at a time - now let's get to work"
Nichola Corner, the sister of Lyra McKee, gets a standing ovation after quoting the murdered journalist's words at her funeralhttps://t.co/TCTl3jsP0H pic.twitter.com/gizJctW4Ci
— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) April 24, 2019
A poignant moment also came later in the service, when Father Martin Magill received a standing ovation by addressing the politicians in attendance and asking why it took the murder of a young woman for politicians to come together.
"I commend our political leaders for coming together in Creggan on Good Friday. I am however left with one question: Why in God's name does it take the death of a 29 year old woman with her whole life ahead of her to get us to this point?"
You can watch this part of Father Magill's speech here:
— Gavan Reilly (@gavreilly) April 24, 2019