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Man charged with murder of journalist Lyra McKee

The 29-year-old was shot dead by dissident republicans while observing rioting in Londonderry in April.

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Journalist Lyra McKee was shot dead in Londonderry (Chiho Tang/Oranga Creative/PA)

Journalist Lyra McKee was shot dead in Londonderry (Chiho Tang/Oranga Creative/PA)

Journalist Lyra McKee was shot dead in Londonderry (Chiho Tang/Oranga Creative/PA)

A man has been charged with the murder of journalist Lyra McKee.

Ms McKee, 29, was shot dead by dissident republicans while observing rioting in Londonderry in April.

The New IRA said it carried out the killing.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) said: “Detectives from the PSNI’s Major Investigation Team have charged a 52-year-old man with the murder of 29-year-old journalist Lyra McKee, who was shot dead by terrorists in Derry/Londonderry on 18 April 2019.

“The man, from the city who was arrested by detectives yesterday and taken to Musgrave Serious Crime Suite, is also charged with possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life and professing to be a member of a proscribed organisation.”

He will appear at Londonderry Magistrates’ Court on Thursday.

Ms McKee was standing near a police vehicle when she was hit by a bullet fired by a masked gunman towards officers.

Detective Superintendent Jason Murphy said: “I have always said a number of individuals were involved with the gunman on the night Lyra was killed, and while today is significant for the investigation the quest for the evidence to bring the gunman to justice remains active and ongoing.”

The Belfast writer was living in Londonderry with her partner, Sara Canning.

The gay rights activist was an articulate advocate of a new and more tolerant Northern Ireland and part of the generation which reached adulthood during peace time.

She wrote for publications including Private Eye and Buzzfeed.

Her funeral was attended by then prime minister Theresa May, Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Irish President Michael D Higgins at St Anne’s Cathedral in Belfast.

Catholic priest Fr Martin Magill received a standing ovation when he asked why it took her death to unite politicians.

Days later the British and Irish governments announced a new talks process aimed at restoring devolution.

Powersharing was resurrected last month and the first same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland took place this week.

PA