Northern Ireland

NI paper review: 'Tears and laughter' at Lyra McKee funeral

Daily Mirror Image copyright dAILY mIRROR

There's only one story on the front of Northern Ireland's papers on Thursday.

The Belfast Telegraph, Daily Mirror, News Letter and The Irish News all lead with the funeral of murdered journalist Lyra McKee.

"Let Lyra's murder be a doorway to a new beginning" is the headline on the front of the Telegraph.

Fr Martin Magill told mourners at the St Anne's Cathedral funeral: "I detect a deep desire for this."

The paper's Ivan Little writes that "seasoned observers of the Troubles admitted they had never seen a funeral quite like it".

Image copyright PAcemaker
Image caption The funeral of Lyra McKee took place at St Anne's Cathedral on Wednesday

"Presidents and prime ministers came together in a Protestant church in Belfast with members of the LGBT community and mourners in Harry Potter scarves to give a standing ovation to a Catholic priest, who made an impassioned rallying call for peace and political progress in the name of murdered journalist Lyra McKee."

The News Letter and The Irish News have similar pictures of politicians applauding priest Fr Magill at the funeral.

However, in The Irish News, DUP leader Arlene Foster is sitting at the start of the standing ovation, while in the News Letter she has stood up and joined in.

"Time to step up" is the Irish News headline.

It says west Belfast priest Fr Magill was applauded when he asked: "Why in God's name does it take the death of a 29-year-old woman with her whole life in front of her to get to this point?"

The paper says that the DUP and Sinn Féin leaders, seated side-by-side, initially did not join in the applause, then Mrs Foster remained in her seat momentarily as the rest of the congregation stood.

Image caption Politicians applaud Fr Martin McGill

It says that "tears and laughter combined to create a poignant, moving service of remembrance for a young north Belfast woman described as someone who broke down barriers and reached across boundaries".

The News Letter says the funeral was one of the biggest in Northern Ireland in recent years.

It reports the words of Ms McKee's sister Nicola, who told mourners that the love between Lyra and her mother would continue "for all eternity".

She added that every single person should get the chance to grow up and make their dreams come true.

"This is Lyra's legacy and we must move it forward."

Ms McKee's partner Sara Canning is pictured on the front of the Daily Mirror.

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Image caption Lyra McKee was described as someone who broke down barriers and reached across boundaries

The paper focuses on the £10,000 reward being offered by Crimestoppers for information leading to the conviction of those responsible for the murder.

It says Fr Magill's strong words during the funeral "felt like a war cry... for peace".

Among a series of quotes from the funeral are those of Ms McKee's friend Stephen Lusty: "Lyra had many friends drawn from all walks of life - all shapes, all sizes genders, interest and views were welcomed.

"There were no formulas or tick boxes in her world. You just needed to be a good person."

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