The funeral of murdered gay journalist Lyra McKee has been taking place in Belfast’s St Anne's Cathedral this afternoon, with Prime Minister Theresa May and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn among those in attendance.
Lyra was shot dead on the Creggan Estate in Derry last Thursday night as she observed clashes between police and Irish nationalist youths. She was killed when a gunman opened fire in the direction of police officers near whom Lyra was standing.
Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and President of Ireland Michael D Higgins were also in attendance at the funeral.
At a vigil in Derry following the 29-year-old journalist’s death, her partner, Sara Canning, said she had been left without “the woman I was planning to grow old with”.
She said that her partner was a “tireless advocate and activist” for the LGBT community, adding: “The senseless murder of Lyra McKee has left a family without a beloved daughter, a sister, an aunt and a great-aunt; so many friends without their confidante.”
Among the many paying tribute to Ms McKee was Patrick Corrigan, Northern Ireland Programme Director of Amnesty International, who said: “All at Amnesty are utterly devastated at the news that Lyra McKee has been shot dead while carrying out her job as a journalist.
“Lyra was a great young journalist, whose commitment to truth was absolute and whose laughter could light up a room.
“The bitter irony was that Lyra was due to speak at an Amnesty International event at the Queen’s Film Theatre in Belfast on 4 May about the dangers of reporting violent conflicts.”
Mr Corrigan added: “Journalists put themselves on the frontline in the battle for truth every single day. Every day, it becomes more dangerous for reporters to do their job on behalf of us all.
“Lyra McKee was one of those courageous seekers after truth, with a life ahead of her and so much to give.
“Our thoughts are with Lyra’s partner, her family and many friends.”
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