Two arrested over Lyra McKee's murder in Derry

Clay Curtis
April 22, 2019

For Lyra, killed on Thursday night by a terrorist bullet while covering rioting in Londonderry, seemed particularly vivid in the present tense - inquisitive, generous-spirited, funny, forever scratching away at the surfaces of old and new stories to discover what uneasy truths lay beneath.

"Please come and speak with my detectives and provide us with your mobile phone footage".

Authorities suspect the New Irish Republican Army (IRA), also referred to as the IRA dissidents, to be behind the killing, which has since been labelled as a terrorist incident. "I am asking people to do the right thing for Lyra McKee, for her family and for the city... help us stop this madness". A 2014 blog post - "A Letter To My 14-Year-Old Self" - received much acclaim and was subsequently turned into a short film.

In her tweet in January, she described Londonderry as a handsome city she had fallen in love with while "falling in love with a woman who hails from it".

British Prime Minister Theresa May on Friday described the attack as "shocking and truly senseless".

"It is really important that those who killed Lyra in this cowardly attack should never be allowed to do this again", said Jason Murphy, a detective for law enforcement in the city of Derry, also known as Londonderry.

McKee was seen as a rising star, named to Forbes "30 under 30" list of notable media figures in 2016.

There has been widespread condemnation of the killing.

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Born in Belfast just a few years before the 1998 accord was struck to end the kind of violence that took her life, McKee was remembered in an outpouring of tributes as an intelligent, talented writer who brought a human touch to hard subjects.

Arlene Foster, leader of the Democratic Union Party, which is in favour of Britain's presence in Northern Ireland, described the death as "heartbreaking news".

The footage showed McKee standing with other reporters by a police vehicle, and the suspected gunman coming around a corner. "PSNI and members of the public being put in danger by unrepresentative thugs intent on destroying communities", he tweeted.

A vigil was held in Creggan in Ms McKee's memory, organised by local residents who said they felt sad and angry.

In the five years since, her letter was turned into a short film, she became a published author with Angels With Blue Faces, and had recently signed a two-book deal with Faber & Faber, as well as appearing in domestic and global publications.

Angels With Blue Faces, a non-fiction book about the Troubles-era cold case murder of South Belfast MP Rev Robert Bradford, was released in 2018 and her latest book, The Lost Boys, is due for publication by Faber & Faber next year.

Police guard a crime scene during unrest in the Creggan area of Londonderry, in Northern Ireland, Thursday, April 18, 2019. "She was an inspiring thinker and journalist".

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