McKee friends smear red hand prints on Saoradh office

Red handprints were painted onto the walls of the building. Credit: UTV

Friends of Lyra McKee have put their hand prints in red paint on the offices of a dissident republican group in Londonderry.

The protest at Saoradh’s headquarters came days after the 29-year-old journalist was shot dead during disturbances in the city.

A group of six men, understood to be members of Saoradh - which is associated with the New IRA, stood outside the office while the protest took place, while PSNI officers were also present.

Lyra’s friends dipped their hands in red paint then smeared them on the walls of the building.

The protest comes as up to 200 members and supporters of Saoradh took part in an Easter Monday commemoration march in west Belfast.

A similar march that was to be held in Derry on Monday was called off following the murder of Lyra McKee.

The group's national chairman Brian Kenna called for the New IRA to apologise for the murder during a speech he delivered at Milltown Cemetery.

Police thanked the community for Credit: UTV

Meanwhile, the officer leading the investigation into Lyra McKee's murder says he knows the identity of the gunman.

But Det Supt Jason Murphy added that more evidence is needed to charge him.

He said there has been “significant progress” in the investigation and a “huge outpouring of support” from the local community.

“More than 140 people have contacted the PSNI, a really positive sign that the community remains united in condemnation of the murder of Lyra McKee," he said.

"She was a random victim, anyone could have been standing in her position, it could have been a child or an elderly resident."

Det Supt Murphy added that he has spoken to the PPS about "protection measures" for witnesses coming forward.

He went on: "I have taken some steps to talk to the Prosecution Service in terms of the protection measures we may be able to afford to those witnesses so things like anonymity.

"While those things are never guaranteed, we are in a position to say to the community within Creggan for this investigation there are measures we can take to keep you safe.”