Belfast Telegraph

Lyra McKee: Family 'devastated' says priest who was at journalist's hospital bedside

A Londonderry priest has spoken of visiting the devastated family of murdered journalist in hospital.

Lyra McKee, a 29-year-old journalist and author, was shot dead during rioting in the Creggan area of the city. Police believe dissident republicans were responsible and are treating it as a "terrorist incident".

Fr Joe Gormley, a priest based in the Creggan area, said he visited the family and anointed Lyra McKee at Altnagelvin Hospital last night and spoke of their devastation at her death. 

"It's just dreadful to see Lyra's partner and family heartbroken this morning. Last night I was called over to the hospital and they just thought it was someone else, they thought it had to be somebody else, that it wasn't Lyra, but unfortunately it was," he told BBC Radio Ulster.

"I would love if those people that fired those shots seen what they did in Altnagelvin (Hospital) last night. If they came over and saw that scene of that young woman and her family.

"I'm very angry and I'm also very sad. This is not what Creggan is about. We have, unfortunately, over this past while, had a group of people that think our parish is a playground for their little political games. These are not games - these are deadly, deadly actions."

Fr Gormley said Lyra McKee had played a role in ending the "cycle of violence" by writing about its effects on young people.

"It's so sad that someone who was trying to make the situation better is murdered in this way," he added.

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