Pain of losing Lyra will never ease for mum, says sister
A sister of Lyra McKee has told how their family's lives will "never be the same again" as she called her the "most loving person that the world will never forget".
Nichola Corner moved mourners with an emotional address at St Anne's Cathedral yesterday.
She recalled Lyra's birth on March 31 1990, but said their time together was too short.
"God gave the world the most precious gift, God gave us Lyra, but what God didn't tell us was that we wouldn't have her for long, at least not as long as we would have liked," she said.
Nichola recalled that while Lyra was "many things to many people", to her family she will always be "our baby".
She told how, when she first saw her as a newborn baby, they were "fused in love" from that moment on.
She told a selection of poignant and often humorous stories of Lyra's life - of which she said there are millions. She also told of how happy they were when Lyra met her partner Sara.
Mrs Corner said: "Lyra did not just meet the love of her life when she met Sara, she introduced me to a new sister and expanded our family circle in a way we never expected.
"We are so pleased that Lyra lived the last few months of her life happily and looking forward to her new life with Sara."
Nichola spoke of the bond between Lyra and her mum Joan (68), adding: "She must have phoned mum at least 50 times a day and I'm not even exaggerating."
She added: "The absence of this will leave an unfillable hole in our mother's life.
"The pain of the absence of our Lyra from our mum's life will undoubtedly never ease.
"But we know that while a broken heart can never be mended and an empty space can never be filled, the unconditional love that they both share for each other will continue for eternity.
"Lyra often spoke of how proud she was of our mum for raising her single-handedly.
"And we should give credit to Lyra's mother, our mother for ensuring that Lyra became the kindest, the gentlest, the most loving person that the world will never forget."