Parish Priest at St John's Parish, Belfast, Father Martin J Magill commended "the unification of our political leaders, for standing together in Creggan, on Good Friday" at Lyra McKee's funeral in Belfast today.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, UK Prime Minister Theresa May, Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald and DUP leader Arlene Foster were in attendance.
Fr Magill continued: "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 to this point?"
This is among the most powerful things I've ever seen,
Watch how those in the back of the church are the first to react, and how the sentiment cascades down until eventually those at the front have no option but to follow the lead. https://t.co/kbgQT6UZob— Gavan Reilly (@gavreilly) April 24, 2019
The moment inspired a standing ovation from those attending Lyra's funeral, and twitter was quick to react.
Twitter user Shane called it the 'most powerful eighty seconds you will ever watch':
UTV broadcaster Frank Mitchell said Fr Martin Magill made "the most telling address this part of the world has possibly ever heard":
Fr Martin Magill makes the most telling address this part of the world has possibly ever heard at the funeral of Lyra McKee. No wonder he received a spontaneous standing ovation.— Frank Mitchell (@frank_broadcast) April 24, 2019
Can you educate me on this, why did it take Arlene so long to stand up, the politics of Northern Ireland has always confused me?— brett shemwell (@brettshemw) April 24, 2019
Another wrote that the speech made them emotional, calling it powerful and necessary:
Father Magill speech made me quite emotional.
Powerful and necessary.
#LyraMcKee RIP— Bo Diddley Dobbin (@DaddyPobbin) April 24, 2019
Twitter user, Matthew, said 'Whilst the funeral of Lyra McKee should never have taken place, I truly believe this is a turning point for Northern Ireland. The words of Fr Martin have resonated with those in Northern Ireland who say #NotInOurName and it was poignant to see so many celebrate her life.
And so they should as well as the rest of the leadership of both parties.— ChristyK (@KGran12) April 24, 2019
Powerful stuff from the funeral of 29 year old journalist #LyraMcKee shot while reporting in Derry last Thursday. The priest has strong words for the political leadership ⬇️ https://t.co/hZkuRxhhOb— Caitriona Perry (@CaitrionaPerry) April 24, 2019