Belfast Telegraph

Lyra McKee: Police Federation slam 'sick and depraved' dissident group response

Police at the scene after a journalist was shot dead in Derry during rioting. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
Police at the scene after a journalist was shot dead in Derry during rioting. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th April 2019 - Photo by Lorcan Doherty / Press Eye. PSNI officer close off Fanad Drivem in Creggan, Derry following the murder of 29-year-old Lyra McKee during rioting after police searches in the area last night.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th April 2019 - Photo by Lorcan Doherty / Press Eye. PSNI officer close off Fanad Drivem in Creggan, Derry following the murder of 29-year-old Lyra McKee during rioting after police searches in the area last night.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th April 2019 - Photo by Lorcan Doherty / Press Eye. PSNI officer close off Fanad Drivem in Creggan, Derry following the murder of 29-year-old Lyra McKee during rioting after police searches in the area last night.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th April 2019 - Photo by Lorcan Doherty / Press Eye. PSNI officer close off Fanad Drivem in Creggan, Derry following the murder of 29-year-old Lyra McKee during rioting after police searches in the area last night.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th April 2019 - Photo by Lorcan Doherty / Press Eye. PSNI officer close off Fanad Drivem in Creggan, Derry following the murder of 29-year-old Lyra McKee during rioting after police searches in the area last night.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th April 2019 - Photo by Lorcan Doherty / Press Eye. PSNI officer close off Fanad Drivem in Creggan, Derry following the murder of 29-year-old Lyra McKee during rioting after police searches in the area last night.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th April 2019 - Photo by Lorcan Doherty / Press Eye. PSNI officer close off Fanad Drivem in Creggan, Derry following the murder of 29-year-old Lyra McKee during rioting after police searches in the area last night.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th April 2019 - Photo by Lorcan Doherty / Press Eye. PSNI officer close off Fanad Drivem in Creggan, Derry following the murder of 29-year-old Lyra McKee during rioting after police searches in the area last night.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th April 2019 - Photo by Lorcan Doherty / Press Eye. PSNI officer close off Fanad Drivem in Creggan, Derry following the murder of 29-year-old Lyra McKee during rioting after police searches in the area last night.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th April 2019 - Photo by Lorcan Doherty / Press Eye. PSNI officer close off Fanad Drivem in Creggan, Derry following the murder of 29-year-old Lyra McKee during rioting after police searches in the area last night.
Armed police in Creggan, Londonderry after shots were fired and petrol bombs were thrown at police. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday April 18, 2019. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Armed police in Creggan, Londonderry after shots were fired and petrol bombs were thrown at police. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday April 18, 2019. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Armed police in Creggan, Londonderry after shots were fired and petrol bombs were thrown at police. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday April 18, 2019. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
A burning car in Creggan, Londonderry after petrol bombs were thrown at police. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday April 18, 2019. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
A burning car in Creggan, Londonderry after petrol bombs were thrown at police. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday April 18, 2019. Niall Carson/PA Wire
A burning car in Creggan, Londonderry after petrol bombs were thrown at police. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday April 18, 2019. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Petrol bombs are thrown at police in Creggan, Londonderry. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday April 18, 2019. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Petrol bombs are thrown at police in Creggan, Londonderry. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday April 18, 2019. Photo credit: Niall Carson/PA Wire

The Police Federation has condemned a "sick and depraved" statement by a dissident republican group blaming the murder of Lyra McKee on police.

Ms McKee was shot dead during rioting in the Creggan area of Londonderry on Thursday night. Police believe dissident republicans were responsible.

The shooting happened as the PSNI conducted as series of searches in the area for weapons and ammunition.

In a statement on Friday, dissident republican group Saoradh blamed police for the murder.

In response, the Police Federation for Northern Ireland (PFNI) said: "What a sick and depraved viewpoint. Acts of violence and terror rest with terrorists alone. No ifs, buts or excuses."

The PFNI said Ms McKee's murder was an "appalling an dastardly act" that achieved nothing.

“This murder was a depraved act and utterly futile. It was barbaric. It achieved nothing but to inflict pain and suffering on a family and leave a community shocked to its core," they added.

"The killer needs to be caught. I would urge the good people of Creggan, and beyond, to help the PSNI to bring this murderer to justice. We have to rid ourselves of this scourge.

"We have to remove the oppression that these dissidents impose on a community so that young and old can look with confidence to a future free from the gun and bomb."

At a press conference on Friday morning, Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hamilton said police believe the shooting was carried out by the New IRA.

He said: "We believe this to be a terrorist act, we believe it has been carried out by violent dissident republicans, our assessment at this time is that the New IRA are most likely to be the ones behind this and that forms our primary line of inquiry."

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