Tuesday, 20 August, 2019

Evidence to catch Lyra McKee killer 'is out there'

Lyra McKee whose funeral takes place on Wednesday Lyra McKee whose funeral takes place on Wednesday
Patty Aguilar | 26 April, 2019, 18:44

McKee's death is a stark reminder of the simmering tensions that remain in Northern Ireland, years after the Good Friday Agreement of 1998 brought an end to the "Troubles" - the decades-long sectarian conflict in which more than 3,500 people died. The result was both tragic and familiar: the death of a young journalist, apparently hit by a stray bullet.

Police were barraged with petrol bombs and other flying objects before someone wearing a black mask appeared, fired shots and fled.

The riot attracted a crowd of residents and journalists.

Lyra was shot whilst covering a riot on the Creggan estate in Derry/Londonderry.

A tribute to Miss McKee from her mother Joan, brothers Gary and David, and sisters Joan Hunter, Nichola Corner and Mary Crossan said: 'On Thursday April 18, our handsome Lyra was taken from us.

"Lyra's murder has shocked not just people across this city, but people around the world and there has been a global wave of shock and sympathy from her colleagues in journalism, politicians, church and community leaders". It comes ahead of her funeral service, which is taking place in her native Belfast this Wednesday. Her killing, which the New IRA admitted responsibility for, has prompted widespread outrage and condemnation.

The IRA and most other paramilitary groups have disarmed since Northern Ireland's 1998 peace accord, but a small number of dissidents refused to abandon violence, and have targeted police and prison officials with bombings and shooting.

British Prime Minister Theresa May will also attend along with Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley.

Lyra Mc Kee murder 140 people contact police with information
Murdered journalist Lyra McKee

Two teenagers were arrested in the case last weekend but were released without being charged. She was arrested under the Terrorism Act. That the fate of the community of Northern Ireland is now entrusted to a Northern Ireland Secretary whose only talent seems to be to display her ignorance of Northern Ireland is irresponsibility to the point of callousness.

But there has been little sign that the mainly Catholic Sinn Fein and pro-British Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) are close to restoring their power-sharing arrangement.

Dissident republican faction the New IRA claimed responsibility on Tuesday and apologized, saying the shots had been aimed at the police.

The New IRA offered its "full and honest apologies" for Ms McKee's death, saying she was unintentionally shot as their forces targeted police.

The New IRA, the largest of the splinter groups, has been blamed for a January vehicle bomb outside a Derry courthouse and letter bombs sent to transit hubs in Britain last month.

"The United States is also negligent at this inflection point of history for abdicating its leadership role in the cause of peace in Northern Ireland".

"It was encouraging to see that those who provide a political analysis to the organization responsible for her death chose to call off their parade on Easter Monday following the call from Fr Joe Gormley, the parish priest in Creggan where Lyra was killed".

Northern Ireland voted to remain in the European Union in a 2016 referendum, and it is feared that the Brexit process could trigger enmity in the region.

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