Northern Ireland news

Lyra McKee's family say 'outpouring of love, respect and admiration' has been 'a comfort on dark days'

Lyra McKee was shot dead in Derry's Creggan estate on Thursday April 18

LYRA McKee's family has thanked everyone who has offered support since the journalist was shot dead in Derry as she observed a riot.

In a statement, the family said the "outpouring of love, respect and admiration... has been of great comfort to us in these dark days".

Lyra McKee (29) was shot in the head as she stood beside a police Land Rover in Derry's Creggan estate on April 18. The New IRA has admitted it killed the north Belfast woman and apologised.

Her funeral in St Anne's Cathedral in Belfast was attended by British and Irish politicians including Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and British Prime Minister Theresa May.

Ms McKee's family said the knowledge she was "so well-loved across the globe and by people of all walks of life" was "a true testament to her personal philosophy and her vision for the world".

Read more: Lyra McKee's funeral hears priest challenge Northern Ireland politicians

The family said it would "rejoice" on the day when "justice is achieved for our Lyra".

The statement continued: "We are mindful that we may not be able to thank everyone individually, however, we want everyone who: said a prayer; shared a thought; sent a message, card or text; attended a vigil; attended or watched her service; visited her home; travelled; respected our privacy; or did any other positive act in response to Lyra’s murder to know that we appreciate every single sentiment no matter how small; these things have helped to give us some strength while we are at our weakest.

"Whilst we have been both honoured and overwhelmed by requests for events in Lyra’s name or inspired by Lyra; we respectfully request that her life or death not be used for any purpose without the express permission of our family through our legal representatives.

Read more: New IRA admits murder of journalist Lyra McKee and offers 'sincere apologies'

"We know that as our nightmare continues in the weeks, months and years ahead, that we will not be alone. We know that you will all continue to support us and we know that we will all rejoice together on the day that justice is achieved for our Lyra.

"Until then, know that your continued love, support and sympathy will be our spiritual manna."

Ms McKee is survived by her partner, Sara Canning, her mother and five siblings.

Read more: Politicians accused of 'exploiting' Lyra McKee's funeral for own ends

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