Lyra McKee: woman, 57, arrested over journalist's murder

Clay Curtis
April 24, 2019

Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley rejected the New IRA's apology as she spoke in the Commons on the death of the "brilliant, talented" Ms McKee.

An NUJ statement read: "Lyra's murder on Thursday night is a devastating blow to her partner and family, and to her many friends and colleagues throughout the NUJ".

The New IRA, which formed in 2012, accused police of provoking rioting that preceded the gun attack in which McKee died.

"On Thursday night, following an incursion on the Creggan by heavily armed British crown forces which provoked rioting, the IRA deployed our volunteers to engage".

Ms McKee was from North Belfast but had moved to Derry to live with her partner Sara Canning.

The New IRA militant Irish nationalist group has apologised for the killing of journalist Lyra McKee - its first acknowledgement that one of its members was involved, the Irish News newspaper reported on Tuesday.

Detectives for the PSNI's Major Investigation Team have arrested a 57-year-old woman under the Terrorism Act in connection with the murder of Lyra McKee in Creggan in Derry on Thursday, 18 April.

Irish detectives investigating McKee's murder in Londonderry on April 18 arrested two teenagers, ages 18 and 19, on Saturday, according to a statement from local police.

The Irish government's representatives include Taoiseach (Irish PM) Leo Varadkar, Irish President Michael D Higgins and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney.

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"We can then look at how we capture that information in the best way possible to protect those witnesses and enable me to bring the gunman who killed Lyra McKee to justice".

The group is also blamed for a Londonderry auto bombing in January and has been linked to several other killings in the past decade.

The use of a firearm apparently aimed at police marks an escalation in sporadic violence that continues to plague Northern Ireland 21 years after the Good Friday peace agreement was signed.

About 3,500 people were killed in the conflict - many at the hands of the Irish Republican Army (IRA).

The new IRA is a terror organisation made up of armed groups opposed to the peace process and it recently claimed responsibility for parcel bombs sent to London and Glasgow in March.

The IRA and most other militant groups have disarmed since the 1998 peace accord.

Some politicians believe uncertainty over Britain's impending departure from the European Union and the possible re-introduction of a "hard border" between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland are stoking tensions in the region. It comes ahead of her funeral service, which is taking place in her native Belfast this Wednesday.

"It's going to be a celebration of her life", Canning said in a Facebook post, urging people to wear Harry Potter or Marvel-themed T-shirts.

"I know she would love it".

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