Video: Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody joins Richard Moore and Lyra McKee's family in calls for peace
Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody paid poignant tribute to his late granny from the Fountain - “the best person I ever knew in my life” - at the ‘Lyra’s Walk’ rally in Derry on Monday.
Mr. Lightbody, whose parents Jack and Lynne are both from Derry, walked the last leg of the peace demonstration from Belfast to Derry in memory of the late writer Lyra McKee, who was shot dead by an ‘IRA’ gunman in Creggan on April 18
Addressing the large crowd that had gathered in Guildhall Square to welcome ‘Lyra’s Walk’, he said: “My granny lived all her life in Fountain Street in Derry, not that far away.
"She was the best person I ever knew in my life. She’s not with us anymore but she taught all of us from a very early age that everybody should be treated with respect and with love, wherever they’re from, whatever they’re about, whoever they are.
“Her best friend Margaret Monaghan was a Catholic. She was Protestant. At a time when that didn’t happen very often. So she set the standard for our family.”
Mr. Lightbody performed a rendition of an unrecorded song, ‘I Think of Home’, which features references to his granny and his childhood trips to Derry.
“I wrote this song a while ago and never recorded it, never released it, that sort of features her in it and talks about Ireland and all of us,” he said.
The song includes the doubly poignant lyrics: “I remember trips to Derry on the old car’s freezing seats. At night on Fountain Street in winter, my grandma’s laugh the greatest noise. It’s sure been hard since she left us and none of us have been the same. But the light she left within us; And I still see her every day.”
He went on to dedicate one of Snow Patrol’s signature tunes, ‘Run’, to Lyra.
One of Lyra’s friends read a statement on behalf of the organisers.
It read: “The killing of Lyra McKee was wrong, the killing of any person in our shared history regardless of the group or body responsible has been wrong.
"Using violence as a means to resolve our problems has been proven to be futile. Any group or body that uses violence to forward their political aims is wrong.”
Richard Moore, founder of the Children in Crossfire charity, who lost his sight when he was shot in the face by a British soldier with a rubber bullet in 1972, aged just 10, said: “Can I just say to the men who put the guns in the hands of whoever.
"You know, it’s not helping ‘the cause’. It’s actually destroying your cause. So please listen to what’s happening today.”
Nichola Corner, Lyra’s sister offered to meet her killer at any police station in Ireland.“I’m prepared to be there as you hand yourself in. I promise you here and now that I will meet you at any police station anywhere on this island to support you in taking the brave step of handing yourself in and allowing my sister the justice she deserves,” she said.