Full statement from family of Lyra McKee in advance of her funeral
24 Apr 2019 8:29 AM
The family of murdered journalist Lyra McKee released a statement on Tuesday evening in advance of her funeral in Belfast later today. The 29-year-old will be laid to rest after a service at St Anne's Cathedral at 1pm this afternoon. People will also gather at Guildhall Square in Derry as the funeral takes place. In the statement, the McKee family said: "On Thursday April 18 our beautiful daughter 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 anyone. 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 time and space 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."
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