Bells will be rung in churches in Belfast and Derry tonight at 8.30pm (Saturday 18 April) to mark the first anniversary of the death of journalist Lyra McKee.
Bells will be rung at St John the Evangelist on the Falls Road, the Church of the Most Holy Redeemer, Clonard and St Peter’s Cathedral, Belfast.
They will also be rung at St Mary’s Church Creggan in Derry.
Lyra McKee was murdered by a New IRA gunman while observing a riot in the Creggan Estate in Derry last year.
Father Joe Gormley who was at Lyra’s bedside in Altnagelvin Hospital and administered the last rites said that the bells will ring out from St Mary’s Church Creggan in memory of “ a truly inspirational young woman”.
Father Gormley said: “Lyra achieved so much in her short life and clearly had so much more to give. She came amongst us in Derry to be with Sara. She loved Derry and wanted to contribute by her profession and writing to a future where no one dies because of violence. When the people of the Creggan and the city hear the bells I hope they will think of that vision and pray for her, that her vision will be a reality. Our thoughts and prayers are with Sara and Lyra’s siblings Gary, Joan, Nichola, David and Mary.They have had the pain of losing their mother Joan last month, who experienced the pain of losing Lyra, her youngest child. May Lyra and Joan be united with Christ and each other in heaven”.
Father Martin Magill whose powerful homily at Lyra’s funeral in St Anne’s Cathedral brought the congregation to its feet in a standing ovation when he asked why it had taken Lyra’s death to bring politicians together also paid tribute to her.
“Lyra’s love of life, her passionate belief in fairness and justice and her capacity to challenge with compassion marked her out as a remarkable human being. Her death was a cruel and wicked tragedy but her life was a triumph and that is what we hold on to. She lives on in the hearts of all those who knew and loved her”.