Belfast Telegraph

Lyra McKee’s family pay tribute to murdered journalist

Ms McKee’s family said she was a smart, strong-minded woman who believed passionately in inclusivity, justice and truth.

A image of Lyra McKee displayed during a vigil in Dublin (Niall Carson/PA)
A image of Lyra McKee displayed during a vigil in Dublin (Niall Carson/PA)

The family of murdered journalist Lyra McKee, who was killed in Londonderry during clashes with police and the New IRA, have paid tribute to her as “a friend to all”.

Her mother Joan, brothers Gary and David and sisters Joan Hunter, Nichola Corner and Mary Crossan said: “On Thursday 18th April 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.

“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.”

The family made the statement also on behalf of their spouses, and nieces and nephews of Ms McKee, 29.

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