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Lyra McKee funeral clergy praise politicians for 'seizing the moment' and restoring power-sharing

Lyra McKee

The clergy that led the funeral of Lyra McKee a year ago have commended politicians for finding a way to re-establish the power-sharing Executive.

In a joint statement from the Dean of Belfast, the Very Rev Stephen Forde, and Father Martin Magill, Parish Priest of St John's Parish, they praised First Minister Arlene Foster and Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill for "seizing the moment" of Lyra's funeral to find a way to set up a government.

Friday marks the first anniversary of the journalist's funeral which was held in a packed St Anne's Cathedral.

Lyra was shot dead while covering an attack on the PSNI in the Creggan area of Londonderry on April 18 last year.

During her funeral, Fr Martin asked why it took Lyra's death to get NI's leaders together.

"At the request of Lyra's family, we were privileged to lead Lyra's funeral service in St Anne's Cathedral, Belfast, one year ago, on April 24, 2019," said Fr Martin and Rev Forde.

"It was an emotionally charged service for all who attended, including the Irish President and Taoiseach, the British Prime Minister and the leader of the opposition.

"Also in attendance were the leaders of all the political parties in Northern Ireland - then deadlocked in their inability to re-establish the Northern Ireland Assembly.

"The cathedral was packed, inside and out, with those of Lyra's post-Troubles generation, who wanted to build a new and different community to one of sectarian division and deep-seated bigotry."

The clergy said the partnership between Ms Foster and Ms O'Neill is a "fitting tribute" to Lyra whose passion was to bring people together.

"Their working together, along with the Executive ministers, health professionals and ordinary people from every background, has been essential to support this community through this unprecedented coronavirus crisis," they continued.

Belfast Telegraph