And in Belfast, funeral services were held Wednesday for Northern Irish journalist Lyra McKee, who was shot in the head by an Irish nationalist militant last week during riots in the city of Derry. Leaders from both sides of Northern Ireland’s political divide appeared side by side at the funeral; they were joined by British officials and leaders from the Republic of Ireland in St. Anne’s Protestant cathedral.
At Wednesday’s funeral, a friend revealed that just hours before she was murdered, Lyra McKee said she was about to propose marriage to her partner, Sara Canning.
A group calling itself the New IRA, which opposes the 1998 Belfast Agreement peace accord, has claimed responsibility for the murder, though it didn’t identify the shooter. Ahead of Wednesday’s funeral, Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald condemned the assassination.
Mary Lou McDonald: “So it’s past time now for these groups that masquerade as Republicans to pack up and pack it in, to end their activities and to let the people get on with the work of building a new united Ireland, that Ireland that we all want, an Ireland that will be a tribute to our patriot dead and to all who died, the Ireland in which Lyra McKee should have lived.”