Saturday 21 September 2019

Mourners asked to wear Harry Potter and Marvel themed clothing at funeral of murdered Lyra McKee

Journalist Lyra McKee was the victim of a fatal shooting in Derry late at night on Easter Thursday
Journalist Lyra McKee was the victim of a fatal shooting in Derry late at night on Easter Thursday
Rachel Farrell

Rachel Farrell

LYRA McKee's heartbroken partner has asked mourners to wear clothes inspired by Harry Potter and Marvel at the 29-year-old journalist's funeral.

Funeral details were released by her partner Sara Canning today, with the ceremony to take place on Wednesday at St Anne's Cathedral in Belfast.

"It’s going to be a celebration of her life and if people would like to wear Hufflepuff, Harry Potter, or Marvel related items I know she would love it," Ms Canning said.

McKee was shot in the head by suspects who police believe were dissident republicans linked to the New IRA on the Creggan estate in Derry on Thursday night.

CCTV released by Police Service Northern Ireland captured her final moments at around 10pm, when she stood among a crowd of other innocent bystanders and raised her phone in the air, apparently to photograph the violence.

Police, who described the shooting as a "terrorist incident", believe the violence was orchestrated in response to an earlier search by officers aimed at averting imminent trouble associated with this week's anniversary of the Easter Rising.

Around 50 petrol bombs were thrown in the confrontation and two cars were burned out.

Police have arrested two teenagers they suspect are members of the dissident republican New IRA involved in shooting the young journalist in the head.

An outpouring of tributes to the writer was led by Ms Canning, who said Ms McKee's "amazing potential was snuffed out by this single barbaric act".

"Victims and LGBTQIA community are left without a tireless advocate and activist and it has left me without the love of my life, the woman I was planning to grow old with," ms canning previously said.

"This cannot stand, Lyra's death must not be in vain because her life was a shining light in everyone else's life and her legacy will live on and the life that she has left behind."

PSNI Detective Superintendent Jason Murphy, who heads up the PSNI's Major Investigation Team, said that he had met with Lyra's devastated family on Saturday morning.

"Lyra's family have a lot of questions, and today I was able to answer some of them. But I need more help from the community to enable me to answer more of their questions and to be able to bring Lyra's killers to justice.

"Shortly before 11pm on Thursday night 29-year-old Lyra was murdered by terrorists. I believe that those responsible are the New IRA.

"Lyra was killed by shots that were fired indiscriminately in Fanad Drive. The brutal nature of that attack has sent shockwaves around the world. The shots were fired in a residential area at a time where there were large numbers of people, including children, standing by.

"The gunman showed no thought for who may have been killed for injured when he fired those shots."

With additional reporting from PA

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