Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland political leaders call for 'calm heads' after murder of Lyra McKee

Killing 'an attack on peace process'

Northern Ireland political leaders have joined together to condemn the killing of Lyra McKee on the streets of Londonderry during rioting in the area.

Police were attacked with petrol bombs on Thursday evening before a gunman opened fire at police lines fatally injuring the 29-year-old.

Leaders Arlene Foster of the DUP, Sinn Fein's Michelle O'Neill, Robin Swann of the UUP, Colum Eastwood of the SDLP, Alliance's Naomi Long and Clare Bailey of the Green party described the killing as an attack on the peace process.

“We want to express our condemnation in the strongest terms possible at the murder of journalist Lyra McKee," they said in their joint statement.

"The murder of Lyra McKee is first and foremost a devastating loss for her grieving partner, family and friends, and our thoughts are with them at this awful time.

"Lyra’s murder was also an attack on all the people of this community, an attack on the peace and democratic processes. 

"It was a pointless and futile act to destroy the progress made over the last 20 years, which has the overwhelming support of people everywhere. 

"We are united in rejecting those responsible for this heinous crime.

"They have no support in the community, must be brought to justice and should disband immediately.

"We reiterate our support for the PSNI, who while carrying out their duties were also the target of last night’s attack. We call on anyone with any information to bring that forward to the police and assist their inquiries.

"This is a time for calm heads.”

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