Belfast Telegraph

She had heart of gold: Tributes for journalist Lyra McKee murdered in Derry disorder

Jonathan Bell

By Jonathan Bell

Tributes have flowed for the journalist Lyra McKee who was murdered at the scene of rioting in Derry.

Police have opened a murder investigation and are treating it as a "terrorist incident".

News of the 29-year-old's killing spread quickly on social media in the early hours of Friday morning with many paying tribute.

Lyra was well known not just in Belfast but across the UK and in many parts of the world. She worked mainly as a freelance writer and had worked for Thomson Reuters Foundation.

She was author of 'Angels With Blue Faces' on the Troubles murder of the Reverend Robert Bradford, the MP for South Belfast and had been investigating the disappearance and young men during the Troubles for her second book.

She was said to have a "promising writing career ahead of her".

As well as the Belfast Telegraph she has been published in the Independent, the Atlantic and Buzzfeed, as well as numerous newspapers and magazines in Northern Ireland and internationally.

In 2014, a piece about growing up gay in Belfast, "Letter To My 14 Year-Old Self", went viral.

In 2016 she was named one of Forbes 30 under 30 in media in Europe and Sky News young journalist of the year.

"Shocked by news that woman shot dead in Derry last night has been named locally as @NUJofficial Lyra McKee," said Seamus Dooley, National Union of Journalists Irish Secretary.

"We are shocked by killing of a journalist of courage, style and integrity.  Sympathy to her partner, family and  many friends."

Louis McConnell welfare officer of the NUJ added: "Lyra was a young woman with a very powerful and admirable viewpoint on life."

Broadcaster and journalist Chris Moore added: "Lyra was a dogged determined journalist but had a heart of gold. We will all miss her."

Commentator Ruth Dudley Edwards said: "Lyra McKee and I were long-time friends. She recognised no barriers to friendship except bigotry & badness. 

"Her commitment & talent were about to bring her undreamt of success as a writer & she was in a loving relationship. What a sickening waste of a lovely, gifted human being!"

Lyra McKee
Lyra McKee

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