Mayor opens book of condolence for murdered journalist Lyra McKee

by Padraig Conlon

A book of condolence for murdered journalist Lyra McKee was opened this week in South Dublin County Council.

Ms McKee was shot when a gunman opened fire on police during rioting in the Creggan area of Derry on Thursday 18th April.

She had been observing violent clashes between dissident republicans and police when she was struck in the head.

She was taken by police to Altnagelvin Area Hospital where she later died from her injuries.

Her murder has been widely condemned and many tributes have been paid to her journalism work.

In 2016, Forbes Magazine named her one of their 30 under 30 in media and she was also working on a book due to be published next year.

At a vigil in Derry the day after her murder her partner, Sara Canning, said she had been left without “the woman I was planning to grow old with”.

She described Lyra as a “tireless advocate and activist” for the LGBT community.

“The senseless murder of Lyra McKee has left a family without a beloved daughter, a sister, an aunt and a great-aunt; so many friends without their confidante,” added Ms Canning.

“We are all poorer for the loss of Lyra.”

A group calling itself “The New IRA” has admitted responsibility for Ms McKee’s death.

On Tuesday Mayor of South Dublin County Mark Ward opened the book of condolence in the Tallaght and Clondalkin offices of the council.

“I was deeply saddened when I learned of the killing of Lyra McKee on the streets of Derry on Thursday,” he said.

“Ms McKee will be remembered as an exceptionally talented journalist, an advocate with a deep sense of social justice and a campaigner for equal rights.

“Those who brutally took her life are in complete contrast to how Lyra lived hers. I want to extend my condolences to her grieving family and friends at this time.

“As a nation we are striving for a peaceful future that has no place for violence.

“The murder of Lyra McKee is an attack on all the people of this island, an attack on the peace process and on the Good Friday Agreement.

“I have opened a book of condolence in County Hall, Tallaght and Civic offices, Clondalkin for Lyra McKee and show to solidarity to the people of Derry and to reject those who brought violence onto its streets last Thursday.

“This is a time for calm and a time to unite in opposition to those responsible for this act.”

“Ar dheis de go raibh a hanam.”

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