Published: Fri, April 19, 2019
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Year Old Journalist Shot Dead During Violence In Derry

Year Old Journalist Shot Dead During Violence In Derry

"Derry Tonight, absolute madness" were Lyra McKee's last words on social media before being gunned down in the Northern Irish city on Thursday. She had been working on a new book which had been due to be published in 2020.

Twenty-nine-year-old Lyra McKee was killed in what police are treating as a "terrorist incident".

"We are treating this as a terrorist incident and we have launched a murder enquiry". Eyewitnesses claimed a masked figure stopped at the bottom of the road and fired shots up towards where Ms McKee was standing. Officers quickly administered first aid before transporting her in the back of a landrover to hospital.

'Tragically she died from her injuries. "The searches were being carried out because we believed that violent dissident republicans were storing firearms and explosives for a number of planned attacks and these may have been used over the Easter weekend in the city".

"The murder of Lyra McKee is first and foremost a devastating loss for her grieving partner, family and friends, and our thoughts are with them at this terrible time".

On Thursday night the 29-year-old became what is believed to be the first journalist killed in the United Kingdom in the line of duty since Martin O'Hagan was shot in Lurgan, County Armagh, in 2001.

A priest who anointed Lyra McKee after she was shot has said he wished that the gunman could have gone to the hospital where she was taken and seen "what they did" to her and her family.

"The shock over what happened here in this city last night is hanging heavy over the entire community today".

The violence began after police conducted raids on a number of houses in the area. At least 50 petrol bombs were thrown and two cars set on fire.

The scene close to where Lyra McKee was killed. Another one said: "I can't believe it was you". Tributes have poured in for Ms McKee as friends and fellow journalists paid condolences.

Politicians across the political spectrum have widely condemned the killing. She was 29. She recently signed a two-book deal with Faber, who called her a "rising star of investigative journalism". Lilly Dancyger, a New York-based editor at digital publication Narratively, said Ms McKee was "dedicated to covering the lasting trauma & violence of the Troubles".

The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) described McKee as "one of the most promising journalists" in Northern Ireland.

Séamus Dooley, NUJ Assistant General Secretary, added: "Lyra McKee was a journalist of courage, style and integrity".

"This outcome is heartbreaking and we extend our sincerest sympathy to the family, friends and loved ones of the deceased".

"Let me be clear, if the Brexit deal undermines the Good Friday accord, there will be no chance of a US/UK trade agreement". I believed that because of all the Biblical scripts.

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