The 29 year old woman who was killed after shots were fired at police in the Creggan area of Londonderry yesterday evening has been named as journalist Lyra McKee.
Ms McKee was a journalist from Belfast. She has covered the ongoing conflicts within Northern Ireland and in 2016 Forbes Magazine names Lyra as one of their 30 under 30 in media.
Speaking to Causeway Coast Community Councillor Darryl Wilson said ‘I see the terms “criminal thugs” and “gangsters” being used by some people when referring to those responsible for the cowardly attack.
We must be abundantly clear that dissident republicans were responsible for the violence and the subsequent tragic death of this young lady. Sections of the community are being brainwashed by those who continually eulogize republican terrorism on an almost daily basis without reprimand or consequence. No stone should be left unturned until the gunman and his accomplices are brought to justice. Can I offer my condolences to all impacted by this utterly senseless loss of life.’
ACC Mark Hamilton has appealed for information following the murder of journalist Lyra McKee last night in Londonderry by Dissident Republicans.
Speaking to the media & public outside Strand Road police station in the city, ACC Mark Hamilton said: “Unfortunately at approximately 11pm last night a gunman appeared and fired a number of shots towards the police and a young woman, Laya Mckee 29 year old, was wounded. She was taken away from the scene in a police landrover to Altnagelvin Hospital but unfortunately, she has died. Therefore we have now launched a murder enquiry here in the city.
We believe this to be a terrorist act. We believe this has been carried out by violent dissident republicans. Our assessment at this time would be the New IRA are most likely to be the ones behind this and that forms our primary line of enquiry.
Can I also say, I want to pass my deepest sympathies to the family of Ms McKee. This is a horrendous act, it’s unnecessary, it’s uncalled for, it’s totally unjustified. But not only is it murder of a young woman, but it’s also an attack upon the people of this city.
I stood here in January and we talked about the bomb and the act of violence against this city and yet again we see another act of violence against this city and it has had horrendous consequences which will affect people for many many years.
I would appeal to the people, particularly in this Easter weekend, to stay calm. I would appeal to people intent on violence to drawback.
These acts of violence are bringing nothing to this city, all they are doing is bringing misery to one family but particularly to this city but also to our broader province.
If people have information, I would appeal to you also to bring it forward. You can ring Crimestoppers, you can ring 101 ask for the police here at Strand Road.
We need people who saw this happen to come forward. We will also be putting out a portal for people to upload videos they may have taken. I know a lot of this is already circulating on social media, but again I would ask people to be sensitive to the family. Someone has lost their life and the last thing their family needs is to see that played over and over again.
If you have videos, I ask people to show sensitivity, not to share on social media but to share them with the police so we can use them in our murder enquiry to try and track down the people who have committed this horrendous crime.”