Lyra McKee: Police appeal for information three years after journalist’s murder in Derry

Lyra McKee was killed during rioting in the Creggan area of Derry in 2019

Police investigating the murder of the journalist Lyra McKee in 2019 have appealed again for information about her killing on the third anniversary of her death.

Detectives said they have made 30 arrests and nine people have been charged, three with murder and six with public order offences, in relation to the shooting of the author in Derry in April 2019.

Despite this, police said the investigation remains “very active” and they “need the public’s help”.

Lyra McKee

What have police said?

Detective Superintendent Eamonn Corrigan said: “As we approach the third anniversary of the murder of Lyra McKee on April 18, our thoughts very much remain with her family, partner, friends and colleagues.

“Lyra’s family not only continue to mourn for her but also for her mother, who sadly passed away after Lyra’s murder.

“To date, as part of our ongoing investigation, we have made 30 arrests and nine people have been charged, three with murder and six with public order offences.

“The investigation into Lyra’s murder remains very active and I would like to thank the community for their response and support throughout our investigation.

Lyra McKee was the first journalist to be killed in the UK since 2001

“I want to re-state the commitment of the police service to work with the community as we collectively seek to release communities from the influence of terrorists.

“While grateful for the considerable public support we have received, we still need the public’s help.

“If anyone has any information about the events which led up to Lyra’s murder, and they have yet to come forward, please contact detectives in absolute confidence by calling 101.

“Alternatively you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers charity completely confidentially 0800 555 111.”

Lyra McKee's partner Sara Canning (centre) with Lyra's sisters Joan Hunter (left) and Nichola Corner during an interview after friends and family laid wreaths at the spot where Lyra McKee was shot three years ago on Fanad Drive in Derry

Sister’s appeal

Ms McKee’s sister Nichola Corner told a vigil in Derry today (18 April) that her family are still waiting for justice.

“Three years ago our sister Lyra McKee was murdered here in this city, and still three years on, we are waiting for justice for Lyra, the person who pulled the trigger of the gun that led to her death still walks these streets, and while they walk these streets, these streets will not be safe for the people of this city,” she said.

“We appeal to anyone with information that will lead to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for our sisters’ death, we appeal to them to come forward. It’s never too late.

“We want to thank all the people who have come to honour Lyra and to remember her as a journalist, as a human being and as a person who loved this city. We hope that you’ll continue to keep Lyra in your hearts and in your minds in a very dignified way.”

Vigils were held in memory of the 29-year-old in Belfast and Londonderry on Monday, the third anniversary of her death.

Her friends and family visited the spot at Fanad Drive in Derry where she died after being struck by a bullet during rioting in the area three years ago.

In Belfast, a new banner in memory of Ms McKee was unveiled on the steps of St Anne’s Cathedral where then Prime Minister Theresa May, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Irish president Michael D Higgins were among those who attended her funeral in 2019.

Members of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) unveil a new banner in memory of murdered journalist Lyra McKee at St Anne’s Cathedral in Belfast to mark the third anniversary of her death

Who was Lyra McKee?

The death of Lyra McKee on 18 April 2019 shocked the nation.

She was shot dead in Derry as she observed rioting in the Creggan area.

An extremist group styling itself the New IRA has previously claimed it was responsible for killing the journalist and author.

Ms McKee got involved in journalism from an early age, writing for her school newspaper before joining the staff of news aggregator Mediagazer, a sister site of technology news aggregator Techmeme.

She gained a wider following after writing about the challenges of growing up gay in Belfast in a blog post titled ‘Letter to my 14-year-old self’, and she was named by Forbes magazine in 2016 as one of its "30 under 30 in media" due to her work as an investigative reporter.

At the time of her death her non-fiction book about the Provisional IRA killing of Belfast MP Robert Bradford was due to be published, as well as another book that remained unfinished.

Following her death in the Creggan riots, Prime Minister Theresa May said that McKee "died doing her job with great courage", while Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said "our solidarity also goes out to the people of Derry and to the entire journalism community”.

Ms McKee had been planning to propose to her partner at the time of her death, and had bought an engagement ring.