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Lyra McKee death: Police arrest four in connection with shooting

Reiss Smith May 9, 2019
Girlfriend of Lyra McKee on 'bittersweet' same-sex marriage milestone

Lyra McKee was shot dead while observing riots in Derry. (PH)

Police are questioning four men, including a teenage boy, in Northern Ireland in connection with the death of lesbian journalist Lyra McKee, who was shot dead while observing rioting in Derry.

The men—aged 15, 18, 38 and 51—were arrested in County Derry on Thursday (May 9) under terror laws, with McKee’s death being treated as a terrorist incident by police.

Detective Superintendent Jason Murphy said that the arrests were made as part of a morning operation.

“Detectives carried out searches at four houses in the city and arrested four people in connection with the violence which was orchestrated on the streets of Creggan on the evening of Lyra McKee’s murder,” he said, according to the Guardian.

The men have been taken to a serious crime suite in Musgrave Station, Belfast.

Murphy thanked the public for providing support, adding that more than 140 people have submitted images, video footage or other information to assist with the enquiry.

Lyra McKee killed in Derry riots

McKee died on April 18 after being shot by a stray bullet while observing riots in Creggan, Derry. The New IRA took responsibility for the gunfire, which it said was aimed at police.

Thousands of people lined the streets of Belfast for her funeral on April 24, which was attended by political and faith leaders from across the island of Ireland, as well as from Westminster.

During the service, McKee’s sister Nichola Corner called her “an inspiration to many people.”

“Lyra was an inspiration to many people.”

—Nichola Corner, Lyra McKee’s sister

“Her whole life story speaks of rising above or pushing against external challenges,” she said.

It was also revealed that McKee had planned to propose to her partner Sara Canning. In the weeks since, friends and politicians have rallied for marriage equality to be introduced to Northern Ireland as part of her legacy.

The hearse carrying Lyra McKee's coffin
The hearse carrying Lyra McKee’s coffin. (Twitter)

McKee’s funeral acted as a catalyst for leaders to begin fresh talks aimed at restoring power-sharing to Northern Ireland.

“In coming together with other political leaders in St Anne’s Cathedral to pay tribute to Lyra McKee, we gave expression to the clear will and determination of all of the people of these islands to reject violence and to support peace and a better future for everyone in Northern Ireland,” a joint statement from British Prime Minister Theresa May and Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, released on April 26, said.

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