Dissident republican group claims journalist Lyra McKee was shot dead 'accidentally' in Derry
A dissident republican group has claimed that journalist Lyra McKee was shot dead "accidentally" during rioting in Derry last night.
Saoradh claimed police were to blame for rioting in the Creggan.
Ms McKee, originally from north Belfast, was reporting on the riot when she was shot dead. She had recently moved to Derry.
The dissident group said the 29-year-old was standing close to PSNI Land Rovers when she was killed.
"The blame for last night lies squarely at the feet of the British crown forces, who sought to grab headlines and engineered confrontation with the community," it said.
"During this attack on the community, a republican volunteer attempted to defend people from the PSNI/RUC. Tragically a young journalist covering the events, Lyra McKee, was killed accidentally while standing behind armed crown force personnel and armoured vehicles.
"This outcome is heartbreaking and we extend our sincerest sympathy to the family, friends and loved ones of the deceased."
- Vigils for murdered journalist Lyra McKee
- Fundraising page set up for murdered journalist Lyra McKee
- Party leaders issue joint statement of condemnation
‘Have you no sense of humanity?’ - Powerful words from Fr Joe Murphy from St Mary’s Church in Creggan.— Damien Edgar (@damien_edgar7) April 19, 2019
He says if the person who shot and killed Lyra McKee could see her mother and partner today, ‘they’d be praying for God’s mercy’. pic.twitter.com/y3PjQC9lfx
Alliance leader Naomi Long hit out at the group's statement and branded them "cowards hiding behind weasel words".
"This was no accident," she said.
"A gun was picked up deliberately, fired indiscriminately and murder committed intentionally. A young woman died. Whether she was your target or not, her murder was no accident. Own the shame of what you have done."
Cowards hiding behind weasel words.— Naomi Long MLA (@naomi_long) April 19, 2019
This was no accident. A gun was picked up deliberately, fired indiscriminately and murder committed intentionally.
A young woman died. Whether she was your target or not, her murder was no accident.
Own the shame of what you have done. https://t.co/66hqwNAkV6
Ulster Unionist Doug Beattie said Ms McKee's death was not an accident.
"They went out with an intent to murder and murder they did," he said.
This really angers me..... it was not an accidental killing. They went out with an intent to murder and murder they did. https://t.co/suLVrmylpk— Doug Beattie (@BeattieDoug) April 19, 2019
- Journalist Lyra McKee (29) shot dead during Derry rioting
- 'How dare they' - priest who anointed Lyra McKee hits out at killers
- Dissident Easter march called off after Lyra McKee killing