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Lyra McKee's family put up billboards in Derry as fight for justice goes on


Appeal: One of the three billboards that will be erected in the city

Appeal: One of the three billboards that will be erected in the city

Appeal: One of the three billboards that will be erected in the city

Billboards seeking justice for murdered journalist Lyra McKee will be erected in Londonderry this week in an attempt to prick the consciences of those who have information about her killing.

Featuring a large image of Lyra and her words - "Here's to better times ahead and saying goodbye to bombs and bullets once and for all" - they will go up in three locations in Derry ahead of the second anniversary of her death on April 18.

Her family have paid for the billboards, which say #justice4Lyra, #failureisnotanoption and #useyourvoice. They will remain in place for a month.

The 29-year-old was shot dead by the New IRA as she stood with her partner Sara Canning and local residents beside a PSNI Land Rover during a riot in the Creggan estate.

Her sister Nichola McKee Corner said: "The billboards will bring Lyra back into the consciousness of those who live in the area, especially those who have information about the man responsible for shooting her.

"They are a reminder to people that, two years on, Lyra is still awaiting justice. We need them to come forward with what they know.

"Those involved in the murder of my sister will now have to look at her picture as they go about their daily life.

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"They will have to see the person that they took from us, took from Sara, took from her friends and society.

"If someone was 'brave' enough to fire a gun up a street and kill a priceless human being, then he should find the courage to accept responsibility and hand himself in."

Nichola said her family was inspired by others also campaigning for justice: "We think of the Ballymurphy and Bloody Sunday families, the McGurk's Bar families, and the family of Lisa Dorrian. Their fighting spirit gives us inspiration and strength.

"They have shown us that families, sadly and regrettably, have to campaign for justice in Northern Ireland if they are to have any hope of securing justice for the murders of their loved ones."

Last Wednesday the McKees launched an online campaign appealing for information about Lyra's killer on what would have been her 31st birthday.

Justice4Lyra.com includes PSNI video footage from the night of the murder, Lyra's own writings, including articles for the Belfast Telegraph, and tributes to her from journalist friends.

The young writer was the main carer for her disabled mother Joan, who died of a broken heart 11 months after her youngest child.

Paul McIntyre (52), of Rinmore Drive in Derry, is currently on bail charged with Lyra's murder, although it is not claimed he was the gunman. He denies the charges.

Neil Sheerin (28), from Tyrconnell Street, is charged with possessing the gun used in the murder, which he denies.

Christopher Gillen (40), of Balbane Pass, faces charges in connection with rioting on the night Lyra was shot.

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