A funeral will be held later for the journalist shot dead while covering riots in Northern Ireland.

Lyra McKee, 29, was shot in the head on the Creggan estate in Derry on 18 April.

Her funeral will take place at St Anne’s Cathedral in Belfast at 1pm and will be led by Dean of St Anne’s Stephen Forde and Catholic priest, Fr Martin Magill.

Among those attending are Ireland’s president Michael D Higgins and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.

Ms McKee’s partner Sara Canning has urged mourners to wear outfits recognising Ms McKee’s favourite films.

She said: It’s going to be a celebration of her life and if people would like to wear Hufflepuff, Harry Potter or Marvel-related items.

I know she would love it.

Meanwhile, Ms McKee’s family said on Tuesday night that she had been a gentle innocent soul who wouldn’t wish ill on anyone.

In a statement released through solicitors, they added: She was a smart, strong-minded woman who believed passionately in inclusivity, justice and truth.

Lyra spoke to and made friends with anybody and everybody, no matter what their background, those of all political views and those with none.

This openness, and her desire to bring people together, made her totally apolitical.

We as a family know that the whole community has been touched by the events of Thursday night and that many are rightly angry.

However, we would ask that Lyra’s life and her personal philosophy are used as an example to us all as we face this tragedy together.

Lyra’s answer would have been simple: the only way to overcome hatred and intolerance is with love, understanding and kindness.

Ms McKee, who had tweeted about the absolute madness in the area in the hours before she lost her life, was standing near a police vehicle when she was hit.

The so-called New IRA said on Tuesday that it had been responsible for Ms McKee’s death, offering full and sincere apologies to her family and friends.

But in London, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Karen Bradley said: To those responsible for this act of terrorism, we say we have heard your excuses and your hollow apologies. No-one buys it.

This was no accident. There is nothing that can justify this murderous act and you are being called out for what you really are.

On Tuesday, a 57-year-old woman was arrested in connection with Ms McKee’s death but police have not said what they suspect her of doing.

Two teenagers were arrested in the days after the killing but later released without charge.

Ms McKee, born and raised in Belfast, extensively covered the Northern Irish conflict and its legacy.

She rose to prominence in a 2014 blog called Letter To My 14-Year-Old Self in which she spoke about the struggle of growing up gay in Belfast. It was later made into a short film.

In 2016, Forbes Magazine named her one of their 30 under 30 in media and she recently signed a two-book deal with Faber & Faber.

Her first book, The Lost Boys, was due for release next year.

It is understood Ms McKee had recently moved to Derry to live with her partner while continuing her role as an editor for the California-based news site Mediagazer.

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(c) Sky News 2019: Northern Ireland prepares for funeral of journalist shot in riots