Europe

Northern Ireland riots: May leads reaction to journalist’s death in ‘senseless’ IRA attack

The rioting took place on Thursday night in the Creggan district of the city. Officers were attacked with petrol bombs and rocks, with the disturbance taking place after a police raid. But 29-year-old journalist Lyra Mckee was shot in the head during the disturbances in Londonderry. 

Ms McKee, who had written previously for publications such as Atlantic, Mosaic Science and BuzzFeed, was covering the bloody fighting. 

Now, politicians from across the board have expressed their anger and sadness at the tragic murder, which is being treated by Police Service Northern Ireland as a “terror attack”. 

Prime Minister Theresa May said: “The death of Lyra McKee in last night’s suspected terrorist incident in Londonderry is shocking and truly senseless. 

“My deepest condolences go to her family, friends and colleagues. 

“She was a journalist who died doing her job with great courage.” 

DUP leader Arlene Foster condemned the brutal attacks, which are being blamed on Dissident republicans. 

Taking to Twitter Ms Foster commented: “Heartbreaking news. A senseless act. A family has been torn apart. 

“Those who brought guns onto our streets in the 70s, 80s and 90s were wrong. It is equally wrong in 2019.” 

Sinn Fein’s Michelle O’Neil, who plans to travel to Derry to stand in solidarity against the murder, said: “My first thoughts are with the McKee family, who have tragically lost their beautiful girl, their hearts are breaking right now and our thoughts and our prayers are firmly with that family this morning,” she said. 

“This is a tragic loss of a young life and our hearts are broken for all those concerned. 

“Those people who carried out this attack have no place in society, they do not have any support, they have attacked all of us. 

“They have attacked the community, the people of Derry and the peace process, and the Good Friday Agreement.” 

Irish Taoiseach Leo Vardakar said his government condemned the violence in the “strongest possible terms”, saying: “We cannot allow those who want to propagate violence, fear and hate to drag us back to the past.”

Deputy Labour leader Tom Watson said on Twitter: “Another senseless loss of a young life. This is a very sad day.” 

Meanwhile, European President Antonio Tajani called on the authorities to shed light on the death of Ms McKee. 

He tweeted: “I ask the authorities to shed full light on the death of the journalist LyraMcKee, killed during the clashes last night in Londonderry. We cannot accept that those who have the task of informing and seeking the truth pay for their lives.” 

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