Attacks on police in Derry yesterday interrupt vigil for slain journalist Lyra McKee
A riot broke out in Derry yesterday, disrupting a vigil held for Lyra McKee and other slain journalists.
In a word
Yesterday riots broke out after a paramilitary-style parade organized by Saoradh. Petrol bombs were thrown at police armored vehicles and shots were fired. A hijacked van and car were also set on fire.
The paramilitary-style parade saw 24 people dressed in paramilitary clothing in defiance of a Parade Commission ruling.
The parade and riot were widely condemned. The condemnations came from politicians including SDLP leader Colum Eastwood, the Bishop of Derry Donal McKeown and the family of Lyra McKee.
On April 18, 2019, Northern Irish journalist Lyra McKee was killed while covering riots in Derry.
McKee’s family said Saoradh’s decision to march on the anniversary of the journalist’s death was in “bad taste”.
The New IRA (to which Saoradh has links) admitted responsibility shortly after the shooting and apologised. The group said their shooter was targeting police. The 29-year-old reporters had observed the riot.
McKee’s partner Sara Canning said: ‘We’re here to honor someone we love, and they’re here to honor those who died 106 years ago. That’s my personal view and that’s why I think it’s in such poor taste.
On Monday, a banner in memory of McKee was unveiled at St Anne’s Cathedral in Belfast and, in Derry, the National Union of Journalists held a vigil in Guildhall Square.
McKee’s sister Nichola Corner urged anyone with information to come forward.
“The person who pulled the trigger on the gun that led to his death is still walking these streets, and while he is walking these streets, these streets will not be safe for the people of this city,” he said. declared Corner.
“It’s never too late…please help us get justice for Lyra.”
Police Services in Northern Ireland have also appealed for further information about McKee’s shooting. Nine people were charged with shooting, six with public order offenses and three with murder. However, there were no convictions.
The vigils also remembered other Irish journalists who were killed while reporting. Martin O’Hagan was murdered by a loyalist paramilitary group in 2001. Pierre Zakrzewski, a cameraman from Dublin, was killed last month while covering the war in Ukraine.
Northern Ireland is the most dangerous place for journalists to do their work in the UK, according to Reporters Without Borders. This is particularly the case for those who cover paramilitary activities and organized crime.