Lyra Mc Kee

“She was a shining light, loved writing, loved Harry Potter and loved poetry.” English teacher.

“If people would like to wear Hufflepuff, Harry Potter or Marvel related T-shirts I know she would love it.” Sara Canning.

The funeral of 29 year old murdered journalist, Lyra Mc Kee, has dominated the headlines today in Northern Ireland. There were emotional scenes as people filled St. Anne’s Cathedral and lined the streets outside. Many, who had never met Lyra gathered because they simply felt drawn by her story and wanted to remember her today. Michael Higgins, the president of Ireland, Leo Varadkar, Taoiseach of Ireland, and British Prime Minister, Theresa May and all of the political leaders of Northern Ireland were present.

Will Lyra’s murder herald a transformation to our society’s complicity towards gangs?

Although I didn’t know her personally, I am deeply saddened that a young woman with outstanding talent had her future snatched from her in such a violent way. The flying bullet that hit her in the head and felled her to the ground rang out not that far from my home.

Lyra is described by friends as being bright, warm, outspoken, very witty, and forthright. She ignored barriers and built bridges. She was interested in writing about people and topics that no one cares to cover. During the funeral service in St. Anne’s Cathedral her sister Nicola said, “we all have the power to create the kind of society Lyra envisioned where every child can grow up and make their dreams come true. Now let’s get to work.“

Paramilitary murders are notoriously difficult to solve in Northern Ireland but as vigils occurred around Ireland and the United Kingdom for Lyra, the chief constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland encouraged anyone with information to come forward. Good citizenship, respect for the rule of law, and taking the people who murdered Lyra, off the streets are all good reasons to come forward.

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