Lyra McKee was a 29 years old reporter, writer and campaigner. Friends and colleagues described her as a “rising star” in the world of journalism – she was named Sky News young journalist of the year in 2006. Lyra was writing her first book which was due to be published in 2020. She has also been described as “a hero to many in the LGBT community” – she wrote a piece called “Letter To My 14-year-old Self”, in which she talked about facing challenging times at school and the moment she came out as gay to her mother.
Lyra was shot whilst covering a riot on the Creggan estate in Derry/Londonderry. Police have described it as a “terrorist” incident. A group called the New IRA has also taken responsibility for the killing, according to the Irish News. Many people have condemned the attack. Police said the public response to the killing had been “massive” across all the communities in Northern Ireland.
UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, had described what happened as “shocking and truly senseless”. The Prime Minister of the Republic of Ireland posted on Twitter: “People North and South are mourning the death of a brave campaigner and journalist”. A 57-year-old woman had been arrested in connection with Lyra’s death. She was arrested under the Terrorism Act. Two men aged 18 and 19 were also arrested earlier in the police investigation and later released without charge.
It’s even more significant because of when she was killed – the day before Good Friday. 21 years ago, on that day, the Good Friday Agreement was signed in Northern Ireland. The aim of the peace deal was to help bring to an end a period of conflict known as The Troubles.