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Friends carry the casket of murder victim Natalie McNally following her funeral service at her parents home in Lurgan in County Armagh. Pic: PA images.
Armagh

Funeral takes place for 'smart, strong, independent' Natalie McNally, who was killed in Lurgan

Natalie McNally has been laid to rest, as the investigation into her murder is ongoing.

THE FUNERAL OF Lurgan woman Natalie McNally, who was stabbed to death in her own home, was held today. 

The service took place at her parents’ home in Craigavon this morning. 

Last Friday, relatives, friends and neighbours also gathered to release pink and blue balloons in honor of Natalie, 32, who was 15 weeks pregnant when she was fatally attacked on 18 December. 

Investigations are ongoing into her murder, and police have released CCTV footage showing a suspect entering Silverwood Green, where Natalie lived. 

Crimestoppers has offered a £20,000 reward for information.

Natalie’s brother Brendan has paid tribute to her online on Christmas day, he said:

“My lovely sister Natalie, who I watched grow up since we were children. So smart, strong, independent and capable; cats, dogs; just understanding the things that no one else did. A part of my self I will not now ever recover. Please, end this violence against girls and women.”

In lieu of flowers, the McNally family are asking that people donate to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in Natalie’s honour.

Natalie’s youngest brother Niall has spoken about the families’ devastation since Natalie was killed, he also called on those responsible to “do the decent thing and confess to her murder.”

“Nats, as we called her, was the only girl in that family and we treated her like a princess,” he said.

natalie-mcnally-death Family members follow the funeral of murder victim Natalie McNally. Pic: PA images. PA PA

“She lived and coped with being a diabetic from a really early age and as a result we were so protective of her and treated her like a precious egg and yet she was a fiercely independent woman, worked in marketing for Translink and was passionate about her beliefs, and loved her animals and music.

“We were so proud of her many achievements, and my mum and dad, Noel and Bernadette, my two brothers Brendan and Declan and I are completely devastated that she is no longer with us and I really can’t believe we will never see her beautiful smile or hear her infectious laugh again.

“I cannot actually put into words the heartache we are experiencing. She was the life and soul of our family and we are heart broken she will not be sitting around the table with us this Christmas Day or any day.

“Nats really was the best sister ever and such a lovely person. She had so many friends and would have done anything for anyone. She had a heart of gold and to add to our unbearable heartache, we are devastated that we will never meet Natalie’s baby – we were all looking forward to welcoming the family’s first grandchild and nephew or niece into the world next year.

“I am appealing on behalf of our family for any information to police or Crimestoppers to help them to put Nats’ killer behind bars,” he added.

A 32-year-old man was arrested by detectives investigating the circumstances of Natalie’s death, but he has since been released on bail to allow for further enquiries.

“The investigation is still at an early stage and anyone with any information they feel is relevant to contact us,” the PSNI said in a statement.

Detective Chief Inspector John Caldwell, who made an appeal for those with information pertaining to Natalie’s death, said there were no signs of a break-in at the property where she was killed.
He said police have released CCTV footage showing a man carrying a rucksack, arriving at Silverwood Green on Sunday night at 8.52pm.

“Then, at 9.30pm, we see him walking out of Silverwood Green. He appears to be wearing white footwear, possibly trainers,” he said.

“My thoughts remain firmly with Natalie’s devoted parents and family, who have suffered terribly. And my appeal is to anyone with information to please come forward.

“I’m keen to highlight a reward of up to £20,000 from Crimestoppers, who are a charity and are independent of the police.

“The reward is being offered for information given directly to Crimestoppers that leads to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for Natalie’s murder.

“Crimestoppers take information completely anonymously, meaning they will never ask for or store any of your personal details.

“Contact Crimestoppers on freephone 0800 555 111 or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org.

“There is no caller line display, no 1471 facility and computer IP addresses are never traced.”

Tributes to Natalie have flooded in since the news of her death was reported, as many have shared messages of sympathy and support to her loved ones.

The 32-year-old had worked for Translink as part of their marketing team.

The team at Lurgan Model Primary School said that their community are saddened to hear of the tragic news of the passing of their former pupil.

“A number of current staff taught Natalie and remember her fondly as a kind, caring and capable person, with a smile for everyone.

“Her mother is also formerly a member of staff. We wish to express our sincere condolences to all of Natalie’s family and friends. May she Rest In Peace,” a statement from the school read in full.

Local Councillor Ciarán Toman, who went to school with Natalie, said he remembers her as “the most pleasant young woman who clearly had a bright future ahead of her.”

“This is obviously a very sad situation for the family of the deceased and my thoughts are with them at this time,” he said.

Women’s Aid Federation Northern Ireland have passed on their sincere condolences to the family and friends of Natalie “at this most difficult time”.

“It’s difficult to comprehend another woman losing her life here in Northern Ireland to violence,” they added.

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood said: “This is horrendous. I can’t imagine the pain that Natalie’s family are going through so close to Christmas. When will our governments admit that there is a severe issue in our society of violence against women and do more about it?”

Detectives are reiterating their appeal for anyone with information to contact them on 101.

Alternatively, information can be provided to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.

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