Slain soldier buried next to daughter in North

A British soldier killed in a landmine blast in Afghanistan has been laid to rest beside his baby daughter in the North.

A British soldier killed in a landmine blast in Afghanistan has been laid to rest beside his baby daughter in the North.

Lance Corporal Stephen McKee, 27, was buried with full military honours in his home town of Banbridge, Co Down, almost a year to the day after the death of his newborn child Keeley.

An estimated 10,000 mourners brought the town to a standstill with all shops closing as a mark of respect.

Among them was Stormont First Minister Peter Robinson and Northern Ireland Secretary of State Owen Paterson.

The Royal Irish Regiment soldier and his daughter were reunited in the town’s New Cemetery following an emotional funeral service at the nearby Holy Trinity church.

Lance Corporal McKee died in the Nad-e Ali district of Helmand Province when his vehicle hit an improvised explosive device (IED) on March 9.

His younger brother Michael, who served alongside him in the 1st Battalion of the Royal Irish, was one of the first on the scene after the deadly blast.

Today, Michael was among soldiers who carried his coffin.

The soldier leaves behind his wife Carley, his parents Heather and Bobby, his brothers, Michael, Gareth and Robert, and his sisters, Kelly and Rebecca.

L/Cpl McKee was the second member of his family to die in the line of duty. His uncle, Richard, a member of the UDR (Ulster Defence Regiment), was murdered by the IRA in 1981.

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