Lyra McKee murder: Saoradh offices raided by detectives

Saoradh members were involved in a stand-off with police as the party's Derry headquarters were raided. Credit: UTV

Police investigating the murder of journalist Lyra McKee have raided offices at Junior McDaid House in Londonderry – the headquarters of dissident republican party Saoradh.

Searches were carried out at the premises in the Chamberlain Street area of Derry on Tuesday.

There was a brief, but tense stand-off as detectives from the PSNI’s Major Investigations Team came face-to-face with members of the group, which is alleged to have links to the so-called New IRA.

Prominent dissident republican Thomas Ashe Mellon, pictured in a stand-off with police in Derry. Credit: UTV

Among those present was Thomas Ashe Mellon – one of the most prominent dissident republicans in Derry.

His supporters made their feelings about the policing operation known, but no effort was made to stop officers entering the building.

Heavily armed police stood guard outside, while searches were conducted inside.

A number of items were seized for further examination, but no arrests were made.

Saoradh has denied that it is the political wing of the New IRA, which has already admitted carrying out the murder of 29-year-old Lyra McKee.

The young woman was shot in the head during rioting in the Creggan on the eve of Good Friday.

She was rushed to hospital by police, but later died.

In the wake of her killing, Lyra’s friends used paint to daub blood-red handprints on Junior McDaid House in protest.

It has been reported that the landlord has served Saoradh with a notice to quit, but that has been denied by the party.

  • VIDEO: UTV's Gareth Wilkinson reports from Derry