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Four men arrested in connection to the death of journalist Lyra McKee

Lyra was shot and killed last year in Derry, Northern Ireland

2020-02-11

Words: Steve Brown

Four men have been arrested in connection to the death of journalist Lyra McKee in Derry, Northern Ireland.

Last year, Lyra was shot and killed while observing rioting by dissident youths in the city's severely deprived Creggan estate.

Her funeral was attended by political party leaders including Theresa May, Jeremy Corbyn and anti-LGBTQ DUP leader Arlene Foster.

Now, the BBC reported that four men – aged 20, 27, 29 and 52 – have been arrested under the Terrorism Act today (February 11).

PSNI Detective Superintendent Jason Murphy believes that ‘some people within the community know what happened and who was involved’.

He said: "I understand that people may be frightened to talk to us.

“I have previously given my personal assurance relating to anonymity for the purpose of this investigation and I renew this assurance today, as we approach the anniversary of Lyra's murder.

“We saw widescale revulsion after Lyra was murdered and I remain determined to work with the community and local policing to convert that revulsion into tangible evidence to bring those who murdered Lyra to justice.”

Lyra, whose work on Irish politics and The Troubles had been published by the likes of BuzzFeed, Private Eye and The Atlantic, had been fast making a name for herself as one of Northern Ireland's brightest young writers.

Last year, Lyra was awarded an Attitude Pride Award and we spoke to her partner Sara Canning about her legacy.

"Lyra's activism was a quiet activism," said Sara. "She used her story, and her voice, to do good."

The pair had discussed marriage and Lyra was to propose on a trip to New York the pair were set to embark on just days after the riot broke out. 

In both her life and work, Lyra represented the new, modern Ireland: one of openness and inclusivity. It made it all the more cruel that it was wounds from her country's troubled past which would ultimately lead to her death.

"I don't know if I'll ever come to terms with it," Sara added. "I wake up every morning and I reach for her side of the bed."

Listen to Lyra and Sara's story below: