Northern Ireland

Lyra McKee: Family comforted by 'outpouring of love'

Lyra McKee Image copyright AFP/GETTY
Image caption Lyra McKee was observing rioting in Londonderry's Creggan estate when she was shot

The family of murdered journalist Lyra McKee has said a huge "outpouring of love, respect and admiration" had comforted them "through the darkest of times".

Ms McKee, 29, was shot on 18 April while observing rioting in Londonderry.

The New IRA said its members carried out the killing.

Ms McKee's family thanked supporters and said they "will all rejoice together on the day that justice is achieved for our Lyra".

A reward of up to £10,000 has been offered for information leading to the conviction of those responsible.

Police said the Crimestoppers reward might help "assist in efforts to get justice for Lyra and her loved ones".

In a statement issued on Tuesday, Ms McKee's family said: "We know that as our nightmare continues in the weeks, months and years ahead, that we will not be alone.

"To know that our wee Lyra was so well-loved across the globe and by people of all walks of life, is a true testament to her personal philosophy and her vision for the world.

"Know that your continued love, support and sympathy will be our spiritual manna".

Ms McKee's family said they had been overwhelmed by requests for events in Lyra's name.

They added: "We respectfully request that before anyone uses her life or death for any purpose that they consider her legacy of inclusivity and understanding".

Prime Minister Theresa May, President of Ireland Michael D Higgins, Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) Leo Varadkar and other politicians were among hundreds of mourners who attended Ms McKee's funeral at St Anne's Cathedral in Belfast.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Irish President Michael D Higgins consoled Ms McKee's partner Sara Canning

Priest Fr Martin Magill received a standing ovation when he asked why it took her death to unite political parties.

Ms McKee's family said they could not thank everyone individually for positive acts following her murder, but wanted to emphasise they "appreciate every single sentiment no matter how small".

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Hundreds of mourners attended Lyra McKee's funeral in Belfast's St Anne's Cathedral

They added: "These things have helped to give us some strength while we are at our weakest".

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