Belfast Telegraph

Lyra McKee: Thousands raised in memory of murdered journalist

Investigative journalist Lyra McKee. Credit: PSNI
Investigative journalist Lyra McKee. Credit: PSNI
Mark Edwards

By Mark Edwards

Thousands of pounds have been raised in memory of investigative journalist Lyra McKee who was murdered at the scene of rioting in Derry.

Lyra had been standing close to a police Land Rover when a gunman fired a number of shots during disorder in the Creggan area on Thursday night. It is believed dissident republicans were behind the night of violence.

A community-led vigil in response to the murder has been arranged for 2pm at Fanad Drive, where the incident took place. A candlet vigil will also take place at Belfast City Hall at 6pm.

A book of condolence has also been opened at Belfast City Hall at 12.30pm.

A Go Fund Me page was set up on Friday morning in memory of the journalist.

Mike Harris, who met Lyra while working on libel reform on Northern Ireland, told the Belfast Telegraph he was delighted by the response to the fundraising appeal.

"A lot of fellow journalists have been really generous in giving money," he said.

"Go Fund Me themselves have given £1,000, which is really good.

"Lyra was an incredible journalist and the minute I found out this morning I thought we have got to do something in her memory."

Mr Harris, who met Lyra while working for campaigning organisation Index for Censorship, said he would contact Lyra's family to see what they wanted to do with the money raised, which had reached nearly £12,000 by 12pm on Friday.

"We would also like to create a legacy for Lyra," he added.

"She was a fearless human rights defender, she was a brilliant investigative journalist, it would be great if we could use the money to create a legacy for her."

"The thing about Lyra was that she was part of that post-sectarian generation.

"She was a progressive campaigner, she wanted to build a more positive future. It is really gutting that someone whose identity was forward looking and passionate about Northern Ireland's future that she has been killed by remnants of the past."

Patrick Corrigan, Northern Ireland programme director of Amnesty International, said: "All at Amnesty are utterly devastated at the news that Lyra McKee has been shot dead while carrying out her job as a journalist.

“Lyra was a great young journalist, whose commitment to truth was absolute and whose laughter could light up a room.

“The bitter irony was that Lyra was due to speak at an Amnesty International event at the Queen’s Film Theatre in Belfast on 4 May about the dangers of reporting violent conflicts.”

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