Heartbreak as ‘songbird’ Kyra McKinley is laid to rest

Kyra McKinley
Kyra McKinley

A 21-year-old woman who died after a car crash in Co Tyrone this week was a “beautiful, talented, creative girl”, mourners at her funeral heard on Friday.

There were heart-wrenching scenes as the funeral service for Kyra McKinley, who passed away on Monday, ended with a recording of the 21-year-old singing ‘Amazing Grace’.

A talented singer, she had led a “beautiful, busy and bubbly life” before she was involved in a two-vehicle collision on the Deverney Road in Omagh last Saturday.

She was taken by Air Ambulance to the Royal Victoria Hospital but, sadly, she died on Monday.

The funeral service was held at Omagh First Presbyterian Church on Friday, when tributes were given by Mrs Rachel Bingham, who spoke about Kyra’s days at Omagh Academy and her love of music, the Rev Robert Herron, who spoke about her family and connection with Gillygooley Presbyterian Church, and the Rev Jane Nelson, who spoke about her giving and generous nature.

Rev Nelson said: “We are all devastated and shocked to be here today. Kyra, like every individual here was unique but she was quirkily unique. It was said during the week that there were no straight lines with Kyra, everything she did had her own quirky unique stamp upon it and so this service is to be a celebration of her beautiful, busy and bubbly life.

She continued: “We have heard about Kyra the songbird and how Kyra used the wonderful gift God gave her to sing his sweet praises but Kyra was not just a singer, she was also a giver — a giver of gifts, a giver of service, and a giver of life

“Her mum described her as the fizz and pop in the family the one who was there to brighten a dark day, the mischief-maker and the one who was always buzzing about looking for new projects to start and new causes to support.”

Rev Nelson also paid tribute to Kyra’s bravery in dealing with mental illness.

“At uni Kyra developed anxiety and depression and she took the brave decision to give up her course and return home to her family and to get the help she needed to improve her mental health,” she said.

“She was not ashamed of her problems but instead wrote passionately on one of her blogs about mental health issues and received feedback both online and through a third party that she had helped others who were also suffering from similar problems. Once again Kyra was willing to give of herself to help others, not an easy thing to do.”

The minister highlighted Kyra’s generosity even in death.

“Kyra was taken to the RVH and whilst they were unable to save her life they were able to facilitate Kyra’s wish to have her organs donated in the event of her death as she carried an organ donor card,” she said. “This beautiful talented creative girl who was warm hearted and generous to the core has now been able to give others the hope of a better life as a result of her generous decision.”

Kyra was buried at Old Drumragh Churchyard.