Journalist killed during rioting in Co Derry

A car burns in the Creggan area. Credit Leona O'Neill

A car burns in the Creggan area. Credit Leona O'Neill Police have come under attack. Credit Leona O'Neill

The P.S.N.I. has released C.C.T.V. footage which shows the moments before journalist Lyra McKee was shot dead by a gunman in Derry on Thursday evening.

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

Thousands of people gathered in the Fanad Drive area of Creggan, where the 29-year-old was killed while observing a riot.

Lyra McKee, 29, died after she was shot Thursday during rioting in the Creggan area, on the eve of the 21st anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement - which marked the end to a period of long-running violence known as "The Troubles".

"She was taken away from the scene in a police Land Rover to Altnagelvin Hospital but unfortunately she has died".

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"I have no doubt that it was that commitment which led to her presence on the streets of the Creggan last night, observing a riot situation in the city".

Lyra goes on to describe her courageous decision to tell her family about her sexuality. "We are treating this as a terrorist incident and we have launched a murder enquiry", he said on Twitter. "These acts of violence are bringing nothing to this city, all they are doing is bringing misery to one family, but also particularly to this city and also to our broader province".

A photograph of a Catholic priest waving a bloodstained handkerchief as he tried to help 17-year-old victim Jackie Duddy to safety became a defining image of the incident. At this stage we believe her murder was carried out by a violent dissident republican'.

McKee first gained prominence for a 2014 blog post called Letter To My 14-Year-Old Self, where she wrote about growing up gay in Belfast.

McKee was "one of the most promising journalists" in Northern Ireland, according to the National Union of Journalists (NUJ). "I can't imagine life without her, and yet now I must". She dedicated her TEDx talk, in Northern Ireland's parliament buildings, to those killed by a terrorist in Orlando's Pulse nightclub in 2016 and LGBT people who had committed suicide.

"This can not stand, Lyra's death must not be in vain because her life was a shining light in everyone else's life and her legacy will live on and the life that she has left behind".

Described by her publisher Faber as a rising star of investigative journalism, McKee's death was condemned by both Irish nationalist and pro-British unionist politicians.

"She was from the generation that we all hoped would enjoy a better future".

Leona O'Neill, a reporter with the Belfast Telegraph, said she had been next to the woman when she was shot.

"A single gunman fired shots in a residential area of the city and as a result wounded Ms McKee". Those responsible for last night's violence have nothing to offer anyone in Northern Ireland.

The tragic loss of McKee reminds us that journalism remains a unsafe business at times, and that you do not have to operate in regions of the world such as Syria, Iraq or parts of Africa to run the risk of losing your life in pursuit of the truth.

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