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Piper pays tribute as first Manchester victim laid to rest in Scotland
June 5, 2017 / 4:42 PM / 4 months ago

Piper pays tribute as first Manchester victim laid to rest in Scotland

Mourners follow the funeral procession of Manchester bomb victim Eilidh MacLeod to the Church of Our Lady, Star of the Sea, in Castlebay on the island of Barra, in Scotland June 5, 2017. REUTERS/Andrew Milligan/Pool

EDINBURGH (Reuters) - A lone piper in a Scottish kilt led mourners paying their respects to 14-year-old Eilidh MacLeod in the sparsely populated Scottish island of Barra on Monday, the first funeral after the Manchester Arena suicide bomb.

Eilidh, herself a keen piper, was at the Ariana Grande performance on May 22 when the attacker struck, killing 22 people. Her friend, Laura MacIntyre, 15, also from the picturesque Scottish island, is still recovering in hospital.

The piper played the traditional songs that the teenager loved, Sgoil Lionacleit Pipe Band member Donald MacDonald said.

“These were the last tunes that Eilidh played on the pipes on the day before she went to the concert,” he told the BBC. “She was so committed. Always practising. Always giving her best.”

As a mark of respect in the tight-knit community, businesses shut to allow residents to attend the funeral.

Father John Paul MacKinnon, who officiated at the service, said Eilidh had “packed a lot of life into 14 happy years”.

“That’s so important for us to remember today – Eilidh was a happy girl, she had 14 happy years and in the last few days of her life she was the happiest you could ever imagine,” he said.

Reporting by Elisabeth O'Leary, editing by Larry King

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