Come Together for Lyra: Public rally in Derry today as Lyra McKee is laid to rest in Belfast

Lyra McKee
Lyra McKee

Local people are being urged to attend a public rally in Derry city centre today to show their respects as Lyra McKee is laid to rest in her native Belfast.

The 'Come Together for Lyra' event will take place at 1pm at Guildhall Square in Derry, the same spot where thousands turned out last Friday to express their revulsion at her murder of the journalist who had made Derry her home.

Lyra McKee was among the bystanders who witnessed a night of violence on the streets of Creggan on Thursday night last when she was shot.

A New IRA gunman appeared from behind a low wall and fired shots up the street, with a bullet striking Lyra as she stood close to a PSNI Land Rover.

Lyra's partner, Derry woman Sara Canning, has said her funeral in Belfast today (Wednesday) will be a “celebration of her life.”

Sara, posting on Facebook, has asked people attending the service ‘to wear Hufflepuff, Harry Potter, or Marvel related items’ as “I know she would love it.”

A large attendance is expected for the service, which will take place at 1.00 p.m. at St Anne’s Cathedral in Belfast.

US President Bill Clinton has been among those who phave paid tribute.

He wrote: “Heartbroken by the murder of Lyra McKee and the violence in Derry. The challenges in NI today are real- but we cannot let go of the last 21 years of hard-won peace and progress. “This tragedy is a reminder of how much everyone has to lose if we do.”

Meanwhile, musician Patti Smith, in an Instagram post, described Lyra as ‘a beloved and trusted champion of the lost, marginalized and those, like herself, who have suffered growing up in a discriminatory environment.

“She...will not walk the streets of Belfast on Good Friday Morning. She was shot in cold blood during rioting on Thursday night in Derry. Lyra McKee was 29 years old. And thus do we mourn our young, a brilliant flame extinguished,” she posted.