Mon. May 27th, 2019

Lyra McKee murder: Derry needs ‘liberation’ from dissident republicans

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A man looks at floral tributes to Lyra McKee close to where she was shot in Londonderry AFP
Floral tributes to Lyra McKee have been left in the Creggan estate where she was shot

The community in the nationalist area of Londonderry where journalist Lyra McKee was shot dead needs to be “liberated” from dissident republicans, the city’s Catholic bishop has said.

Ms McKee, 29, died after she was struck by a bullet as she observed rioting in the Creggan estate on Thursday night.

Bishop Donal McKeown said the “small” group of dissident republicans in Derry is a “danger to all of us”.

Two men have been arrested in connection with Ms McKee’s killing.

Journalist Lyra McKee, 29, was shot during rioting in Londonderry

The pair, aged 18 and 19, are still being questioned by detectives.

Police have blamed dissident republicans for the murder, which happened after violence broke out as officers were carrying out searches for weapons and ammunition.

Intelligence had led them to suspect that there could be attacks on police over the Easter period.

‘Disgusted by what happened’

Ms McKee was standing near a police 4×4 vehicle when she was shot after a masked gunman fired towards police and onlookers.

A statement issued by the hard-left republican political party Saoradh on Friday sought to justify the use of violence on Thursday night.

Lyra McKee’s murder has disgusted people in Derry, says Bishop Donal McKeown

Saoradh, which translates as liberation in Irish, has the support of the dissident republican group the New IRA.

Bishop McKeown told the BBC’s Sunday Sequence that people in the Creggan estate were “disgusted at what happened”.

“The one liberation they require in that community is liberation from Saoradh,” he said.

“We don’t want to be laboured with a reputation that comes from a small group that represents a small number of people but is actually a danger to all of us.”

PSNI released CCTV footage after Lyra McKee’s murder

Ms McKee’s killing came 21 years after the Good Friday peace agreement was signed in Northern Ireland.

The 1998 peace deal marked the end in the region of decades of violent conflict – known as the Troubles – involving republicans and loyalists during which about 3,600 people are estimated to have died.

The Good Friday Agreement was the result of intense negotiations involving the UK and Irish governments and Northern Ireland’s political parties.

Tributes have been paid to Ms McKee from leading figures in the worlds of journalism, politics and beyond.

Vigils have been held across Northern Ireland and people have paid tributes to her by signing books of condolence.

‘Liberation from violence’ needed in Derry

The community in the nationalist area of Londonderry where journalist Lyra McKee was shot dead needs to be “liberated” from dissident republicans, the city’s Catholic bishop has said. Ms McKee, 29, died after she was struck by a bullet as she observed rioting in the Creggan estate on Thursday night.

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