Video: Snow Patrol's Gary Lightbody pays poignant tribute to his late granny at Lyra McKee peace rally

Snow Patrol frontman 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' peace rally in Derry on Monday.

Tuesday, 28th May 2019, 12:13 pm
Updated Tuesday, 28th May 2019, 1:13 pm
Gary Lightbody.

The pop star said her examples of tolerance and respect had been a big influence on him when growing up.

Mr. Lightbody, whose parents Jack and Lynne are both from Derry, walked the last leg of the 'Lyra's Walk' 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' to Derry, he said: "My granny lived all her life in Fountain Street in Derry, not that far away.

Gary Lightbody.

"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.

"When we walked into Derry today and walked past Fountain Street it always makes me very happy to have had her in my life."

Mr. Lightbody then performed a rendition of an unrecorded song, 'I Think of Home', which features references to his granny and his childhood trips to Derry.

Gary Lightbody taking part in Lyra's Walk.

"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."

The singer went on to dedicate one of Snow Patrol's signature tunes, 'Run', to the late Lyra McKee.

"If anybody feels frustration at our political system or frustration at the inertia in Stormont perhaps we can look to the positivity today.

"People gathering together and all they care about is that they can be who they want to be, love who they want to love and live in peace," he remarked.