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Father Magill is right: Lyra McKee’s shocking death must not be in vain

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Like the life that preceded it, Lyra McKee’s funeral was completely unique and utterly unforgettable.

Thousands of mourners from every community in Northern Ireland lined the streets of Belfast to pay our respects to the extraordinary young journalist, and to tell the world that we are not defined by our worst citizens, but by our best.

This sentiment was captured perfectly in Fr Martin Magill’s homily, which has since gone viral.

Addressing the politicians in the congregation, he asked why “in the name of God” did it take the death of a brilliant 29-year-old woman to bring them all together under one roof?

There was a sense of catharsis in the minute-long standing ovation that followed these words. Magill was voicing a frustration and despair that we have all been struggling with since last Thursday, when Lyra was shot to death while covering the riots in Derry’s Creggan estate.

The rise of paramilitary activity in Northern Ireland has been no secret to those of us who live here. While Brexit negotiations have repeatedly failed to address the issue of the Irish border, there has been a palpable sense of anxiety across the province. Meanwhile, a chronic lack of political representation has left many communities feeling left out, while their futures........

© The Guardian