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Messages - seafoid

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1
Hurling Discussion / Re: Kilkenny
« on: Today at 10:05:42 AM »
Eoin Murphy out with an injury in a club game would be a huge blow for Kilkenny.

Where they're at in their development means getting out of Leinster is not a formality especially if Dublin continue to improve under Matty Kenny.

If Cody doesn't make the top three in Leinster then I can see him going.
Top 3 should be doable this year

2
General discussion / Re: Man Utd Thread:
« on: April 25, 2019, 08:35:27 PM »
Pogba is just like Balotelli.....a waste of oxygen.
Balotelli never scored a goal in the World Cup Final for the winning team.

4
GAA Discussion / Re: Another PR disaster
« on: April 25, 2019, 12:04:25 PM »
How much would Eurocamp charge for a week in Frejus in July ?

5
General discussion / Re: Holidays
« on: April 25, 2019, 10:34:27 AM »
We went to l'Etoile d'Argens last year, also near Frejus . Great location and no other Irish people were seen.
It's around EUR 1500 for a week in July

https://www.allcamps.fr/camping/france/cote-dazur/camping-letoile-dargens

6
General discussion / Re: Man Utd Thread:
« on: April 25, 2019, 10:12:07 AM »
People are talking here like it's Football Manager, 6 out, 8 in etc etc. It doesn't work like that. You need to scout players, you need to do your homework on them as men - because United are signing players, not men.

They are in a world of trouble and they are quickly becoming a crisis club.
In terms of running a football club, the Glazers and Woodward are clowns
In terms of generating cash they are experts



7
Hurling Discussion / Re: Kilkenny
« on: April 25, 2019, 09:40:35 AM »


Shefflin on the drive for 5

https://www.irishtimes.com/sport/gaelic-games/henry-shefflin-says-dublin-will-feel-the-heat-of-five-in-a-row-1.3870488

Nine years on from Kilkenny’s defeat to Tipperary in the 2010 All-Ireland hurling final, the lost chance to win that record fifth successive All-Ireland, Shefflin admits Dublin will find themselves under pressure unlike any other, and it’s only a matter of time until they realise it.
“I think once it gets to the end, when we get to August or the end of July with the football, that’s when the real heat will come on, and that’s when it does come into your mind,” says Shefflin.
“Up to now it’s there, it’s in the ether. But I think once you get to the semi-final stage then players’ minds come into focus more that that is there. It’ll be interesting to see how they manage it.”
After losing that 2010 All-Ireland, Shefflin came back to win another three titles with Kilkenny, bringing his tally to a record 10; last March he made it All-Ireland number 14, managing his club Ballyhale Shamrocks to the title he had also won three times as a player.
He suggests part of the challenge for Dublin and Jim Gavin is balancing the motivation with the expectation. “It was a huge motivation for me, definitely,” adds Shefflin, speaking in Croke Park at the launch of the Bank of Ireland Celtic Challenge.

“Sure I tried to play [the 2010 final] with no cruciate, and that wasn’t a very smart move. Dublin will take it one game at a time, but that’s my point. At the early stages it’s one game in a row, but then I think once you get to that intensity, and you can see the grandstand finish coming up, that’s when it comes more into focus.
 “Especially with it being Dublin, the media attention will absolutely sky-rocket.  But, look, they have a good manager, similar to Brian Cody in terms of being able to keep that low key, and the players seem to do that as well. 


“It’s about the panel of players as well, and the development of that panel of players is very important. That’s the reason we were successful with the club, we had that bit of youth who brought that bit of freshness and enthusiasm to the older players as well, so we got that balance right.
Sometimes when you are going on a successful run you can stay with what you’re doing, and it can get a bit stale and that’s when you get found out.”

8
General discussion / Re: More Dissident-Republican Activity
« on: April 24, 2019, 05:49:20 PM »
Arms folded. Doesn’t give One flying..

Unionists have been resisting reality since the 1960s.
They are losers. Even Arlene had to concede and clap in the end.

Their own people in their 20s leave and never return
The Unionist population fell by 14% since 1989, a direct result.

9
General discussion / Re: Man Utd Thread:
« on: April 24, 2019, 05:37:02 PM »
Woodward is like John Delaney, he seems to escape any criticism whatsoever, it's either the Glazers, the manager or now the player who gets it in the neck. Sometimes rightly so but the man at the top appears to be accountable to nobody as long as the share price holds up. What about the man that has hired successive managers who were bad fits and who has created a culture of marquee signings on huge pay packets who have not produced the performances to back it up. Even now there is very little talk about Woodwards position being under any threat.

Woodward has a lot of crap coming down the line especially if Liverpool win a league title. Liverpool
are way more organised. They paid a fortune for VVD but had done their homework and he is now a key player in a functioning team .
Spurs, Man City and Liverpool all have a good manager and a system. Man Utd could be a decade in the wilderness . Busby was followed by years of mediocrity.

10
General discussion / Re: Man Utd Thread:
« on: April 24, 2019, 04:05:50 PM »
United's problems go all the way back to 2009 with selling Ronaldo and replacing him with Valencia & Owen. The summers of 2009,2010 & 2011 all passed without United buying a top player after selling the best player in the world and also allowing a top player in Tevez to leave whilst Rio, Vidic, Evra, Scholes & Giggs all aged with no replacements brought in. How the Glazers must regret not backing Fergie in the transfer market, a hundred million back then would have allowed United to buy a top player each summer and saved them hundreds of millions in the future. United had one of the best squads anyone had ever put together in 2008 but unfortunately they grew old together threw neglect.

The biggest issue we've had since is that Moyes, LVG & Mourinho all had different approaches and all wanted different players so there's been nothing cohesive about our transfer policy.

United are desperate for a director of football/technical director who has a big say in the players that are brought in so that if OGS doesn't work out that the next manager is left with a good crop of players with a good age profile. Over the next 3 transfer windows I'd expect 7 players to be bought with around 10 leaving and think there's a really strong chance United will promote 3 youngsters. Every signing isn't going to be a success but of the next 7 signings United make at least 5 have got to be huge successes for United to get back to been a top team.

United are lucky that they can go out and spend huge money to put it right unlike the likes of Arsenal & Chelsea who are practically relying on selling before they can buy. There's probably around £350m on offer over the next 2 years plus whatever is sold.

Ferguson papered over the cracks in Manu's last premier win in 2013 with a poor enough team that took advantage of the disarray of all the other contenders and the Glazers were able to furnish their debts and all was well with the world.

Failure to buy the right type of player has been their achilles heel ever since.

If ManU don't make it to the top four it will be interesting to see how much the Glazers back Ollie in the summer transfer window.
There are no quick fixes.

Fergie squeezed every drop of juice out of that squad that he could. Scholes, Giggs, Rio, Evra, Vidic, etc were all coming to the end in 2013. Fergie wasn’t looking beyond 2013 as he wouldn’t be there, so the future state of the squad wasn’t his concern. And the team has suffered since, because of that.

The collapse of the United empire is similar to Kerry’s aging squad in the mid-80’s. Most of them retired at the same time, and it took a long time to build from the bottom again. It’s going to take time at United too. I would hope they don’t continue this mediocrity, because before we know, it’s another 26 years wait for the league title.

Kilkenny more recently would be the same
Cody didn't replace the legends so when they began to fade there was nobody to replace them.

It would be easier for Man Utd to go through the valley of tears if Liverpool didn't win any PL titles. Say Liverpool won 2- it would be unbearable for Man Utd fans. 

12
General discussion / Re: Man Utd Thread:
« on: April 24, 2019, 03:26:19 PM »
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/football/2019/04/23/realistic-transfer-fixes-manchester-uniteds-malaise/

Realistic transfer fixes for Manchester United's malaise


 Who can Man Utd realistically buy in the transfer market?
•   JJ Bull
23 April 2019 • 1:02pm

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed what the previous few Man Utd managers suspected (and also confirmed): rebuilding Man Utd is a long term project.
Seven players are likely to leave the club in the summer, others have been told to wise up if they want to stay - and one, Alexis Sanchez, is causing all sorts of financial and contractual negotiation nightmares simply by being there.
Solskjaer has experience of winning league titles and knows what forms a team that can challenge, but getting the right deal and attracting the level of player required while maintaining stability is something even the greatest managers would struggle to get right.
James Ducker's player-by-player, who should stay and go guide is an essential read for Man Utd fans (and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer) but who could and should Man Utd realistically sign in the summer?
Goalkeeper
What they have
David De Gea, Sergio Romero, Joel Pereira, Lee Grant, Dean Henderson
David De Gea wants parity with Alexis Sanchez's wages, and considering his importance to the team and the feeling that Sanchez would struggle to win a Powerleague 5-a-side tournament on current form, it doesn't sound an entirely unreasonable demand. Can Man Utd afford £480,000 a week for a goalkeeper? Nobody can. Sergio Romero is a superb backup goalkeeper and an able replacement for De Gea.
What they need
Nothing at the moment but if they were able to cash in on De Gea, Romero could be promoted and another goalie promoted from the U23s or a replacement brought in for affordable wages.
Who they could sign (if needed)
Keylor Navas (Real Madrid), Gianluigi Donnarumma (AC Milan)
Navas might be available due to Thibaut Courtois' presence at Real Madrid while Donnarumma is only 20 and already a full Italy international - the next Gianluigi Buffon? He would cost north of £50million based on Alisson, Ederson and Kepa Arrizabalaga's transfer fees but Navas may be allowed out for less.
Left-back
What they have
Luke Shaw, Marcos Rojo
Shaw has improved  over the last season and a half, looking like he's overcome his a broken leg suffered against PSV Eindhoven in 2015. It's almost as if having a manager who doesn't slag him off every time a microphone is held to his face is beneficial to self esteem. Rojo is absolutely fine as backup but isn't good enough to start for a top club and will be sold if it's possible.
What they need
A player capable of challenging Shaw for a first team place, who believes they can force their way into the first team. Nobody too expensive, ideally someone younger than Shaw.
Who they could realistically sign
Kieran Tierney (Celtic), Nicolás Tagliafico (Ajax)
As a young captain and determined winner, Tierney is the exact sort of leader United could do with and could well push Shaw out of the team. Celtic would surely consider bids around £15-20million - which Tierney's ability and age (21) would command - and he would bring much-needed bite and aggression to the club.
Tagliafico has impressed for Ajax (who hasn't?) over the last few seasons and shouldn't cost the earth. The Argentinian can play at centre-back too, helping provide extra cover if other players depart Man Utd, but he's 26.
Centre-back
What they have
Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Victor Lindelof, Marcos Rojo, Eric Bailly, Axel Tuanzebe, Timothy Fosu-Mensah
The centre-back equivalent of the Alan Partridge shrug gif. Bailly could leave having failed to make the cut, Smalling can't get in the same England squad as Michael Keane, Jones makes rash decisions and isn't great on the ball, Lindelof has suffered from never having a settled partner or place in the team, while Rojo has struggled with injuries and should leave. Tuanzebe has done well at Aston Villa this season and can play at full-back too, something which might make him a decent John O'Shea type utility option. Timothy Fosu-Mensah hasn't impressed at Fulham but can also play at right-back.
One of the main reasons Jose Mourinho's football was so boring at Man Utd was his wild idea to protect a weak defence by making the whole team more defensive - the team can't open up and attack if the backline is vulnerable. Solskjaer has to improve the centre-back pairing.
At least one, probably three, of these need to leave to free up space on the wage bill and improve the squad... and they've just handed Phil 'Danger' Jones a four year contract. The latter two may be shipped out on loan again unless Solskjaer spots potential.
Ideal signings
Matthijs De Ligt (Ajax), Raphael Varane (Real Madrid), Toby Alderweireld (Spurs)
United need leaders, strong dressing room presences, proven winners with aggression and solid work rate, but who possess genuine quality on the ball. De Ligt is one of the best centre-backs in the world at 19 but can choose from any club on the same planet and will move for enormous money, probably to Barcelona. Edwin Van Der Sar could prove to be an invaluable middle-man and help his old club out - De Ligt could be the base that Man Utd's defence is built around for years to come.
Varane is a World Cup, La Liga and Champions League-winning defender used to performing at the absolute highest level. Noises have been heard from Madrid that he might fancy a new challenge but again, big money would be needed. Real Madrid are planning transfers of their own and could do with the cash, making this one possible.
Alderweireld's contract runs out in the summer of 2020, with a £25million release clause reportedly active in his final year. The Belgian is only 30 and would represent a relative bargain, bringing steel, aggression and determination to the back four, and knows what he's doing in the Premier League.
Realistic signings
Ruben Dias (Benfica), Jonathan Tah (Bayer Leverkusen), Dayot Upamecano (RB Leipzig), Kristoffer Ajer (Celtic), Jamaal Lascelles (Newcastle), Nathan Ake (Bournemouth)
Diascame through at Benfica and the club would listen to reasonable offers for the 21-year-old Portugal international. He could be the defender Man Utd need to get the most out of Lindelof.
Tah is versatile, a Germany international and a player you'd expect to sign for Bayern Munich at some point and represent a missed opportunity for a club like United. Could be a better idea to snap him up now for £30-40million rather than regretting being unable to afford him at £100million in two years. Upamecano is another youngster performing extremely well in the Bundesliga.
Virgil Van Dijk was doing the same things he does at Liverpool now when playing for Celtic, which suggests the technically gifted 21-year-old Ajer might make a solid choice. His slender frame makes him no Van Dijk but Ajer is great in possession, regularly bringing the ball out from the back. Lascelles and Ake would be £20-30million signings but might not improve on what's already there.
Way too expensive
Milan Skriniar (Inter), Samuel Umtiti (Barcelona), Kostas Manolas (Roma), Harry Maguire (Leicester), Mats Hummels (Bayern), Kalidou Koulibaly (Napoli), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Diego Godin (Atletico Madrid)
Right-back
What they have
Diogo Dalot, Ashley Young, Matteo Darmian, Antonio Valencia
Dalot has broken into the Man Utd first team after signing last summer CREDIT: AP
Dalot is supposed to be the next long-term Man Utd right-back, having signed for £19million last summer. Ashley Young will have a place as squad rotation right-back. Darmian and Valencia will surely leave.
What they need
A bit of trust in past purchases. If Dalot has a solid defence and coaching team around him, he should prove to be an excellent signing. Backup would be useful but Young has another year on his contract and for continuity's sake alone, there is no way he'll leave.
What they could get
Aaron Wan-Bissaka (Crystal Palace), Max Aarons (Norwich)
Would command huge fees (£20-40m plus) but would fit if Solskjaer plans to build around a core of young English players. Considering the outlay on Dalot last summer and the improvements needed elsewhere, any signing would represent poor planning.
Central midfield
What they have
Nemanja Matic, Fred, Scott McTominay, Paul Pogba, Ander Herrera, Andreas Pereira, Juan Mata
Fred has been dreadful but should be given another season to prove his doubters wrong, Matic is absolutely fine and McTominay has shown himself capable of playing at Champions League level in high-pressure matches. Herrera could leave for PSG, Pereira appears destined to never fulfill his potential and though Pogba has the talent of a world star, he hasn't demonstrated the determination or consistency of one. Mata seems like a lovely guy, can hit decent set-pieces but is on the wane.
What they need
Ruben Neves (Wolves), Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester), Thiago Alcantara (Bayern Munich), Toni Kroos (Real Madrid), Ilkay Gundogan (Man City), Abdoulaye Doucoure (Watford), Carlos Soler (Valencia), Bruno Fernandes (Sporting Lisbon)
The defeat to Everton on Sunday showed that Man Utd desperately need players who take responsibility, are solid defensively, will work to track back and block passes, and who possess genuine quality. Midfield is the position United must focus their attentions on improving.
Neveswould cost something stupid but could command the midfield of any team in Europe - and at 22-years-old represents planning for the future too. He should be United's absolute first choice, but Wolves are highly unlikely to sell.
Ndidi, also 22, provides bite and snap as well as composure and the ability to play a short pass. A hard working ball-winner, signing Ndidi would be a very Sir Alex Ferguson transfer - buying other clubs' best players to improve your own.
Alcantara and Kroos are superb technicians and would work well with Pogba and Matic in a midfield three but wouldn't fix the soft underbelly of that section of the team. Gundogan still hasn't signed a new contract with rivals Man City and might fancy a guaranteed place in a team he would instantly improve.
Doucoure is a great all rounder at Watford and able to play in a midfield two, Soler is a neat-and-tidy passer of the ball who tends to sit in a more defensive role and fire passes from deep. Fernandes has been excellent in Portugal this season.
Players they (probably) can't get
Tanguy Ndombele (Lyon), Ivan Rakitic (Barcelona), Christian Eriksen (Spurs)
Ndombele might go to Barcelona, Rakitic already plays for Barcelona, Eriksen might currently consider Man Utd a step down.
Outside (unlikely) possibles
Idrissa Gueye (Everton), John McGinn (Aston Villa), Will Hughes (Watford), Joao Moutinho (Wolves), Donny Van de Beek (Ajax)
Gueyeand Moutinho are a bit too old at 29 and 32 to be worth the money needed but would instantly improve the team, Hughes would cost too much and Van De Beek could either be brilliant or disappear into the wild. He suits Ajax's style of play, which is not the same as Man Utd's. McGinn is the wildcard. Every crew needs a wildcard.
What they don't need
Any players who don't match the hype. Sergej Milinković-Savić (Lazio) is one example.
Left wing
What they have
Anthony Martial, Alexis Sanchez, Jesse Lingard, Mason Greenwood
Sometimes Martial looks like he could be the Next Big Thing, at other times he sulks around the pitch like he's working a shift in a retail outlet. With a solid base behind him, Martial could absolutely go on to be a player who wins games on his own and must be considered the first choice left-sided forward, even if that isn't an ideal situation. Sanchez looks positively broken at Man Utd, like Fernando Torres 2: Revenge of the Age. Lingard can be superb on his day. Greenwood is more of a striker.
Possible transfer targets
David Neres (Ajax), Philippe Coutinho (Barcelona), Joao Felix (Benfica), Gareth Bale (Real Madrid)
Man Utd simply cannot afford to add any players in this position. Martial is paid too much to sit on the bench but wouldn't command a high enough value to sell on, while Sanchez's wages are a real problem. For those reasons, signing either Bale or Coutinho would be unwise and the final confirmation that Man Utd's transfer committee have lost their minds. United need aggression, workrate, quality and leadership - these two will not provide it and would cost insane money too.
Felixhas been heavily linked with a move to Man Utd for some time and is a top player in the making, if not already. The only problem is that he tends to play as a central forward in a 10 role, meaning United would be shunting him out to the wing were he to join, since Pogba is supposed to be the central attacking creative player.
Does signing Bale to play on the left wing make sense? No. Is he shiny and famous? Yes. Cuts to: Man Utd sign Gareth Bale.
Right wing
What they have
Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard, Marcus Rashford, Tahith Chong
Only Rashford could be considered a natural winger but his best position is as striker, where his inconsistentcy in front of goal has prompted Solskjaer to stick him out wide (just like his previous managers).
Chong could be the next great academy product at United but is left footed and runs inside the pitch. Mata is slow, Lingard is better through the middle. United must strengthen this position if they plan to use Rashford as a striker.
Possible signings
Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund), Hakim Ziyech (Ajax), Federico Chiesa (Fiorentina), Kai Havertz (Bayer Leverkusen), Nicolas Pepe (Lille)
With 15 goals and 12 assists in 26 league games, Ziyech looks like the perfect right-sided signing. He's 26 so should have a great five years in him and wouldn't cost anything too scary... but Eredivisie stars often struggle in the Premier League and any fee would need to be considered carefully.
Dortmund have already made it clear that they'd need something like £90-100million for Sancho, which might mean more game time to Chong or other Man Utd youngster Angel Gomes is a better financial idea. Both could prove to be wonderkids if given time and trust and as proven with Sancho, why not just play the kids?
Nicolas Pepe had an impressive breakthrough season in 2017/18 at Lille but has been ridiculous this term, scoring 18 goals and assisting 11 in Ligue 1. He's not as likely to immediately shift shirts as others and the risk of player performing well in France vs the Premier League would make the large bid required sit uneasy in the boardroom.
Havertz is a household name in waiting but is best as a 10 and in central positions - the same position that Pogba operates in.
Centre-forward
What they have
Romelu Lukaku, Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, Mason Greenwood
Lukaku has scored an incredible amount of goals but goes missing in games, hides from the ball and his first touch routinely lets him down. If United only play one striker they need someone who can do everything a little better, rather than a poacher - which is Lukaku's best skill. Rashford is one of the best young players in Europe but must find consistency, Greenwood has broken through this season but will take a while to reach the level needed.
Potential signings
Luka Jovic (Frankfurt), Pietro Pellegri (Monaco), Alexander Isak (Borussia Dortmund)
None affordable or yet good enough to force Rashford wide or onto the bench. Jovic looks like he might be the real deal with 17 Bundesliga goals this season but this is his first full year playing first team football, Pellegri isn't even in the Monaco first team yet but will become an international level goalscorer at some point soon, Isak has been great on loan in Holland but hasn't really performed in the Bundesliga yet.
Dream signings
Robert Lewandowski, Heung-min Son, Cristiano Ronaldo, any Liverpool forward, Harry Kane
Not happening.
Won't happen but might just be crazy enough to work
Aleksander Mitrovic (Fulham)
Fourth for Expected Goals (15.83) in the Premier League this season while playing for relegated Fulham, Mitrovic has the aggression needed, never hides from the ball and though he misses chances (has only scored 11) is in the right places to score them. His hold-up play is good too. Probably not an elite level forward but Andy Cole, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Louis Saha weren't really either.

13
General discussion / Re: Man Utd Thread:
« on: April 24, 2019, 03:12:41 PM »
The Sanchez signing has arguably proved to be the biggest mistake, he might not have cost much but his huge wages has caused a big problem in the dressing room and has led to the likes of De Gea & Rashford demanding more from their contracts. I think several clubs will step back from signing players on frees because of the problems it will cause further down the line. Juve will have the same problem with Ramsey, he'll be one of the highest paid players in Europe which probably doesn't reflect how good he is.

Woodward is #hopeless

14
General discussion / Re: Man Utd Thread:
« on: April 24, 2019, 01:49:02 PM »
Good to see the Man U lads aren't paranoid.

Jeeze both sets of fans are hard to listen to on social media at the minute, I'm coming off it If Liverpool win the league as it will be wall to wall shit! this will be the first League win for Liverpool since the internet.. It will crash

Ah here there's been plenty of wall to wall shit from United fans over the years you just have to grin and bear it!!!

Not that Liverpool will win it I just don't see it happening. . . the last day of the season will be a nail biter though!

Headline in the Daily Telegraph
"Manchester derby reminds United fans of the pain of watching your two most loathed rivals fighting for the title "


https://www.telegraph.co.uk/football/2019/04/24/manchester-derby-reminds-united-fans-pain-watching-two-loathed/

“If City were close to us in terms of titles you might find a different dynamic,” he says. “At the moment they only have five to our 20. The way things are going they could soon catch up, but right now the worry is Liverpool turning their 18 into 19. About the only thing we have over them in terms of trophies is the league titles and we’d rather they stayed two behind. Deep down it really is that pathetic, childish a motive that makes us all want Liverpool to mess up.” And it is in the messing up that he adds United fans can seek the greater compensation.

15
General discussion / Re: More Dissident-Republican Activity
« on: April 24, 2019, 01:47:12 PM »

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/determined-doggedness-of-lyra-mckee-remembered-at-belfast-funeral-1.3870179

‘Determined doggedness’ of Lyra McKee remembered at Belfast funeral

Why did it take murder of Lyra McKee for politicians to act? priest asks

Gerry Moriarty Northern Editor
 

A priest at the funeral of Lyra McKee in Belfast on Wednesday asked “why in God’s name” it took her murder to bring politicians to a point where they may seek to resolve their differences.

Fr Martin Magill, a friend of Ms McKee and of her north Belfast family, spoke about the murdered journalist’s qualities when he delivered the homily at her ecumenical funeral service in St Anne’s Church of Ireland cathedral at lunchtime on Wednesday. She was shot dead by members of the New IRA while covering a disturbance in the Creggan area of Derry last Thursday evening.

The chief mourners at the funeral are Ms McKee’s mother Joan, her partner Ms Canning, her sisters Joan, Nichola and Mary, brothers Gary and David, nieces and nephews and a great-niece Ava.

Some hundreds of people gathered outside St Anne’s clapped in solidarity as the coffin of was carried into the cathedral. The wreaths at the funeral included a heart of pink and white flowers and those in the rainbow colours of the LGBT community.

The funeral attendance included the President Michael D Higgins, the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, the British prime minister Theresa May, the Northern Secretary Karen Bradley, the British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, DUP leader Arlene Foster, Sinn Féin leaders Mary Lou McDonald and Michelle O’Neill, the SDLP leader Colum Eastwood, the Ulster Unionist Party leader Robin Swann, the Alliance leader Naomi Long, the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney, the Scottish National Partly leader in the House of Commons Ian Blackford, the PSNI chief constable George Hamilton and deputy chief constable Stephen Martin.

Fr Magill spoke about Lyra’s warmth, her love of her family, of writing, of Harry Potter, of her “determined doggedness”, of her love of life and fun but Fr Magill also had some stern words for her New IRA killers and also for politicians who have contributed to the political paralysis and pessimism in Northern Ireland.

“Many of us will be praying that Lyra’s death in its own way will not have been in vain and will contribute in some way to building peace here. Since Thursday night we have seen the coming together of many people in various places and the unifying of the community against violence,” said Fr Magill.

“I commend our political leaders for standing together in Creggan on Good Friday. I am however left with a question: ‘Why in God’s name does it take the death of a 29-year-old woman with her whole life in front of her to get us to this point?’”

And he added, “I dare to hope that Lyra’s murder on Holy Thursday night can be the doorway to a new beginning. I detect a deep desire for this. He quoted one of Ms McKee’s friends in Derry who said: ‘We have had enough. There is a younger generation coming up in the town and they don’t need guns put in their hands. They need jobs, they need a better health service and education. They need a life, not a gun put in their hands.’”

‘Pen mightier than sword’

To those who had any part in her murder Fr Magill said, “I encourage you to reflect on Lyra McKee journalist and writer as a powerful example of ‘The pen is mightier than the sword’. I plead with you to take the road of non-violence to achieve your political ends.

Related Theresa May attending Lyra McKee funeral service in Belfast 
Lyra McKee killing is unlikely to lead to Stormont breakthrough 
Family of Lyra McKee pay tribute to ‘gentle innocent soul’ 

“It was encouraging to see that those who provide a political analysis to the organisation responsible for her death chose to call off their parade on Easter Monday following the call from Fr Joe Gormley, the parish priest in Creggan where Lyra was killed. To those still intent on violence, I ask you to listen to the majority of the people on your beloved island of Ireland who are calling on you to stop.”

Fr Magill also paid tribute “to the courage and determination of the women who in a very powerful gesture of non violence one by one placed their hands in blood red paint on a wall” of the office of the dissidents in Derry and said loudly “We are not afraid”.

He commended, too, the more than 140 people in Creggan who broke the imposed local rule of silence by contacting the police about the murder.

He said: “But that was one of a number of rules - rules that also said that it was okay to brutalise children for petty crimes, or rules that say you can live in the locality until you are told you can’t or rules that said that the only way we could gain ‘freedom’ was by other fellow-human beings losing their lives.

“But this week I have seen these rules turned on their head. I have seen many people stand up and condemn this culture of violence and coercive control. We need to send a very different message and so I appeal to those who have information about Lyra’s murder but who haven’t yet come forward to do so now.

“If you want to see an end to these brutal rules, and see a new society built on justice and fairness, on hope and not fear, then you can help build that society by letting the police know what you know.

“There will be special measures put in place to ensure your safety and where you will not be intimidated by coercive controllers, if you do so.”

Fr Magill, who was a priest in the McKees parish near Ardoyne in north Belfast and is now parish priest in St John’s in west Belfast, spoke of deprivation and how young people need jobs, and education and training.


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He added: “All our young people need a life that gives them an aspiration for the future. As our politicians we need you to be working together to make that happen so that especially for those living in deprived areas that they will feel the peace process is working for them as well - and especially for young people living in these communities.”

Politicians

And again to the politicians Fr Magill said, “I know you as politicians have a very difficult job to but then so too did Lyra. There is another valuable lesson from her life - she was like ‘a dog with a bone’ when she believed she could make a difference.

“When it comes to our peace process, I would love to see this dogged attitude to the rebuilding of an Assembly that works for the common good. As I listen to the radio every morning, all I seem to hear about various initiatives in Northern Ireland are these words, ‘without a minister, this can’t be taken forward’. I pray that Lyra’s murder may be the catalyst needed for parties to start talking, to reform that which was corrosive in previous Assemblies and to begin anew.”

While Fr Magill delivered these hard messages he also spoke of the personality of Ms McKee and of her generosity, drive, ambition and general lovability

He hadn’t been aware of her interest in Harry Potter, he confessed, or of her favourite house Hufflepuff which was the most inclusive of the Hogwarts school valuing hard work, dedication, patience, loyalty, and fair play.

“It struck me that the definition could just as easily have been about Lyra,” he said.

Fr Magill also told the packed congregation that his last exchange on Twitter with Ms McKee was at the end of March when she sent him a photograph of herself dressed in a nun’s veil with a glass of cider accompanied with these words, “Got roped into performing as part of a Sister Act tribute act for Foyle Hospice. Hey @MartinJMagill, you need any help with mass tomorrow?”

Fr Magill told mourners of how after a rough period early at school she flourished when she developed a love of writing, first inspired by Roald Dahl’s The Twits, and then by “her granny Patricia Lawrie buying her each of the Harry Potter books as they were published”.

And he spoke too of her writing success, her letter when she was 24 to her 14 year-old-self about growing up gay in Belfast, her book about the murder of South Belfast unionist MP Rev Robert Bradford, and her work on a book, The Lost Boys about two young boys who went missing during the Troubles.

Said Fr Magill, “In the course of her investigations, Lyra had discovered that other children had disappeared and she had wanted to find their bodies. I pray that her work will be taken up and that their bodies will be found and even more importantly that there will be no more ‘lost boys’ or ‘lost girls’.”

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