‘A woman of talent and commitment’ – President Michael D Higgins leads tributes paid to journalist Lyra McKee

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‘A woman of talent and commitment’ – President Michael D Higgins leads tributes paid to journalist Lyra McKee


Lyra McKee
Lyra McKee
Lyra McKee’s death is being treated as a ‘terrorist incident’
Petrol bombs are thrown at police in Creggan, Derry. Photo: PA
Lyra McKee
Lyra McKee
Hijacked vehicles on fire in Creggan, Derry. Photo: PA
The scene of unrest in Creggan, Derry. Photo: PA
Heavilly armed police guard a crime scene during unrest in the Creggan area of Derry. Photo: PA
Armed police in Creggan, Derry after shots were fired and petrol bombs were thrown at police. Photo: PA
A PSNI officer conducts a search after shots where reportedly fired in Creggan, Derry. Photo: PA

Tributes have been paid to journalist Lyra McKee who was murdered at the scene of rioting in Derry, with President Michael D Higgins calling her a “woman of talent and commitment.”

Police have opened a murder investigation and are treating it as a “terrorist incident”.

News of the 29-year-old’s killing spread quickly on social media in the early hours of Friday morning with many paying tribute.

Lyra was well known not just in Belfast but across the UK and in many parts of the world. She worked mainly as a freelance writer and had worked for Thomson Reuters Foundation.

She was author of ‘Angels With Blue Faces’ on the Troubles murder of the Reverend Robert Bradford, the MP for South Belfast and had been investigating the disappearance and young men during the Troubles for her second book.

She was said to have a “promising writing career ahead of her” and in 2016 she was named one of Forbes 30 under 30 in media in Europe and Sky News young journalist of the year.

President Higgins said that Ms McKee’s death has caused “shock and outrage.”

“The people of Ireland will have heard with both shock, outrage and great sadness of the killing of the young journalist Lyra McKee in Derry last evening – a woman of talent and commitment, who was shot exercising her profession.



Lyra McKee's death is being treated as a 'terrorist incident'Lyra McKee's death is being treated as a 'terrorist incident'

Lyra McKee’s death is being treated as a ‘terrorist incident’

“Sabina and I send our deepest sympathies to her family and friends and to all those who knew and worked with her.”

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar condemned the killing of Ms McKee and extended his condolences to her loved ones.

He said: “The Government condemns in the strongest possible terms the fatal shooting of journalist and writer Lyra McKee in Derry.

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“We are all full of sadness after last night’s events.



Armed police at the scene of unrest in Creggan, Derry. Photo: PAArmed police at the scene of unrest in Creggan, Derry. Photo: PA

Armed police at the scene of unrest in Creggan, Derry. Photo: PA
Heavilly armed police guard a crime scene during unrest in the Creggan area of Derry
Photo credit: Niall Carson/PA Wire
A PSNI officer conducts a search after shots where reportedly fired in Creggan, Derry. Photo: PA
A hijacked car explodes after being set on fire in Creggan, Derry. Photo: PA
Armed police in Creggan, Derry after shots were fired and petrol bombs were thrown at police. Photo: PA
Hijacked vehicles on fire in Creggan, Derry. Photo: PA
Police conduct a crime scene search after shots where fired in Creggan, Derry. Photo: PA
Hijacked vehicles one fire in Creggan, Derry. Photo: PA

“We cannot allow those who want to propagate violence, fear and hate to drag us back to the past.

“I would like to express my sincere condolences to Lyra’s family, her partner Sara and her friends. Our solidarity also goes out to the people of  Derry and to the entire journalism community.”

Tanaiste Simon Coveney echoed these sentiments, as he said in a statement: “Shocking and reckless terrorism from the enemies of peace in Ireland.”

British Prime Minister Theresa May said: “She was a journalist who died doing her job with great courage.”

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan  called Ms McKee’s death a “reckless regard for human life.”

“For a 29 year old to be killed while simply doing their job is beyond words.

We don’t say it enough but journalists play a vital role in society, exposing themselves to danger so we can get a true insight into events

The courageous PSNI officers who risk their lives to maintain public safety deserve nothing less than wholehearted support from everyone in the community,” Mr Flanagan said.

US Speaker at the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi is leading a delegation at Stomont.

She noted: “Sadly, we join you, on the sadness, the tragedy that happened last night, we extend our condolences to the family, coming on Good Friday, it is especially poignant.”

“Shocked by news that woman shot dead in Derry last night has been named locally as @NUJofficial Lyra McKee,” said Seamus Dooley, National Union of Journalists Irish Secretary.

“We are shocked by killing of a journalist of courage, style and integrity.  Sympathy to her partner, family and  many friends.”

“Those who brought guns onto our streets in the 70s, 80s & 90s were wrong. It is equally wrong in 2019. No one wants to go back,” the DUP’s Arlene Foster said on Twitter.

Britain’s Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Karen Bradley said she was “deeply shocked and saddened” by McKee’s death.

Broadcaster and journalist Chris Moore added: “Lyra was a dogged determined journalist but had a heart of gold. We will all miss her.”

Commentator Ruth Dudley Edwards said: “Lyra McKee and I were long-time friends. She recognised no barriers to friendship except bigotry & badness.

“Her commitment & talent were about to bring her undreamt of success as a writer & she was in a loving relationship. What a sickening waste of a lovely, gifted human being!”

Belfast Telegraph


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