Belfast Telegraph

Lyra McKee murder: 140 people contact police with information

Journalist and writer Lyra McKee who was murdered last week
Journalist and writer Lyra McKee who was murdered last week

Police have said that more than 140 people have contacted them with information regarding the murder of journalist Lyra McKee.

Ms McKee (29) was shot dead while observing rioting in Londonderry's Creggan estate last Thursday.

Police have blamed her murder on dissident republican group the New IRA.

Two teenagers arrested in connection with her death were released without charge on Sunday night.

Detective Superintendent Jason Murphy, who is leading the murder investigation, said that more than 140 people have contacted police through their Major Incident Public Portal, providing messages and mobile phone footage.

“My challenge is, how do I convert that community intelligence and information into raw evidence that allows me bring offenders to justice," he added.

"My appeal today to witnesses who haven’t come forward to us is simple. Please, come forward and have a conversation with me. Come and talk to me.

"I want to reassure people that you don’t have to commit to anything today. I just need to speak to people to understand what they know.

"We can then look at how we capture that information in the best way possible to protect those witnesses and enable me to bring the gunman who killed Lyra McKee to justice."

Detective Superintendent Murphy said police are trying to be "extremely sensitive" in how they are carrying out their investigation in the community of Creggan.

“I know there are people in the community who have information but feel they can’t come forward to us, who feel scared," he said.

"We have sought prosecutorial advice from the Public Prosecution Service, and I want to reassure you that we will work with you sensitively and give you all the support we can." 

Lyra McKee's murder has been met with widespread condemnation across Northern Ireland and further afield.

Former US President Bill Clinton and Prime Minister Theresa May were among those to speak out against it.

On Monday, friends of the journalist protested outside the headquarters of dissident republican group Saoradh, widely considered to be the political wing of the New IRA, by placing red handprints on the wall.

Lyra's friend Sinead Quinn, who took part on Monday's protest, said: "We have used red paint because they have blood on their hands for what has happened.

"They have encouraged it, they have moulded these young people into what they are and they are standing behind them handing them guns."

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