Belfast Telegraph

Mother of murdered journalist wants to ‘reclaim daughter’ from public ownership

Lyra McKee’s sister Nichola Corner said the family have struggled at times to cope with the level of media coverage of her death.

A new mural of Lyra McKee (David Young/PA)
A new mural of Lyra McKee (David Young/PA)

The mother of murdered journalist Lyra McKee wants to “reclaim her daughter” from public ownership.

The killing of the 29-year-old by dissident republicans in Londonderry in April sparked outrage and headlines across the world.

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

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Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Prime Minster Theresa May after the funeral of murdered journalist Lyra McKee at St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast (Brian Lawless/PA)

During that service, a priest urged Northern Ireland’s politicians to resume political talks to restore power sharing government at more than two years.

In the intervening three months, Ms McKee’s murder has been written about numerous times in terms of the police investigation to find her killers, pressure on political party Saoradh to condemn the killing and public events such as the recent walk in her memory.

Ms McKee’s sister Nichola Corner said the full glare of the media coverage has been at times difficult to deal with.

She said her family now wants to reclaim their daughter.

“My mummy does feel that people have been treating her daughter as public property and she wants to ask people to stop doing that, she wants to reclaim her daughter,” she told BBC Radio Foyle.

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Lyra McKee’s mother Joan McKee and sister Nichola Corner with an award presented posthumously for the young journalists’ commitment to the profession (The Journalists Charity/PA)

No one has yet been charged with the murder of Ms McKee.

Mrs Corner also reissued her appeal for anyone with information to come forward.

She said that the family feel they are “living in a nightmare that you just can’t wake up from”, and also revealed she had initially heard her sister received only minor injuries during the riot she had been observing in Creggan.

“I got a phone call to say that Lyra had been injured, hit in the head, and police had taken her to hospital,” she said.

“I actually thought she’d maybe been hit by a bottle, a brick or some kind of object of that nature.”

Mrs Corner said when she was told her sister had been shot in the head, she was so devastated she was “screaming and couldn’t breathe”.

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