Belfast Telegraph

Sunday Life

Book by murdered Lyra on MP's killing and Kincora scandal to be published

Journalist Lyra McKee was shot dead during riots in the Creggan area of Derry
Journalist Lyra McKee was shot dead during riots in the Creggan area of Derry

By Sarah Henderson

A BOOK written by murdered journalist Lyra McKee about the killing of MP Rev Robert Bradford is set to be published just months after her death.

Angels With Blue Faces examines the 1981 murder of the Ulster Unionist politician by the IRA and explores possible links to the security services and the Kincora abuse scandal.

Lyra was shot dead by the New IRA as she observed a riot in Londonderry in April, days before the planned pre-release date of the book.

The blurb explains: "For decades rumours have swirled, with many believing that Bradford - an outspoken MP with a history of using the press to make serious allegations and revelations - was about to reveal something about Kincora, an infamous children's home, at the centre of a child abuse scandal involving one man with links to unionist politicians and MI5.

"It's a cold case which has become almost mythical in the decades since it happened. Why did some of his colleagues believe the security services were involved in his murder?

"And why do so many members of the unionist community believe he was about to reveal something sensational before he was murdered?"

Angels With Blue Faces by Lyra McKee book

Lyra was able to write the book thanks to a crowdfunding drive, with a first edition e-book, then titled A Boy Soaked in Moonlight, sent to all those who contributed.

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In it, she said suspicions were first passed to her by a man she names only as "Michael", who worked for a local newspaper before becoming a teacher and a "collector" of conspiracy theories.

"It wasn't clear why Michael and many others had drawn connections between Bradford's murder and Kincora, or why they'd believed he'd been asking questions about the home before he died," she wrote.

Lyra also spoke to ex-Army intelligence officer Colin Wallace who said he knew Rev Bradford had been asking about Kincora.

"One ex-Army officer I spoke to said that Bradford had been asking questions about child abuse before his death," he told her. "But he wasn't sure exactly what the allegations were."

"Yet if Bradford really had been asking questions about Kincora boys home, why would the IRA kill him?" she wrote.

"They'd have been helping to conceal a scandal that essentially implicated the British state directly in the cover-up and abuse of children."

Publicist Tina Calder of Excalibur Press said of the book: "Lyra's investigation into the death of Robert Bradford was a passion project for her; for years it became her obsession as she followed lead after lead in the pursuit of the truth."

Lyra's sister Nichola McKee Corner said: "Lyra put years into this project, it is so sad that she never got to hold the final copy of her book.

"I am just as proud of you now as I was of you every day of your life, sister."

n To pre-order Angels With Blue Faces, priced £9.99, go to

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