Politicians pay tribute to murdered journalist Lyra McKee

Lyra McKee, 29, was shot in what police are treating as a "terrorist incident", amid disturbances in Derry. Credit: Family photo

Politicians in Northern Ireland have paid tribute to 29-year-old journalist, Lyra McKee, who was shot dead during unrest in Londonderry.

Lyra, who was set to become a published author later this year, was hit when a gunman opened fire on police in the Creggan area of the city on Thursday night.

After being shot in the head, Lyra was rushed to Altnagelvin hospital by police land rover, where she later died from her injuries.

Police say at this stage they believe her murder was carried out by violent dissident republican group, the New IRA.

They are treating the killing as a "terrorist incident".

  • Sinn Féin vice president, Michelle O'Neill, said the people who carried out this attack "have attacked all of us":

  • DUP leader, Arlene Foster, said: "violence, criminality and terrorism was always wrong and is still wrong today in 2019 - we condemn it wholeheartedly":

PSNI Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hamilton said the attack was 'not only a murder of a young woman, but an attack on the people of the city'.

It is understood Ms McKee had recently moved to Derry to live with herpartner.

She worked as an editor for California-based news site Mediagazer, a trade publication covering the media industry.

In 2016, Forbes Magazine named her one of their 30 under 30 in media.

She had been working on a new book which had been due to be published in 2020.

Lyra had been working on a new book which was due to be published in 2020. Credit: Family photo
  • There has been widespread political reaction.

The Prime Minister said the killing was "shocking and truly senseless" and that Lyra "was a journalist who died doing her job with great courage."

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland said she was "shocked and saddened".

In a statement, Karen Bradley said: “My thoughts and condolences are with her family at this time.

"Those responsible for last night's violence have nothing to offer anyone in Northern Ireland.

"Their intolerable actions are rejected by the over whelming majority of people who want to build a peaceful and more prosperous future for everyone in Northern Ireland."

Meanwhile, the Tánaiste Simon Coveney called for the disturbances to stop.

"The news from Derry is shocking and tragic. Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Lyra McKee today. I call on anyone with information to come forward to the PSNI."

He added: "There is no justification for this tragic loss of life and I call on those intent on violence and disturbances to stop."

  • Sara Moore reports: