Northern Ireland news

Lyra McKee gets posthumous honour at journalism awards

Lyra Mckee’s mother Joan and sister Nichola Corner accepted the award in London 
Seamus McKinney

MURDERED journalist Lyra McKee has been given a posthumous award by the Society of Editors for her “outstanding” work.

Ms McKee’s mother, Joan and her sister, Nicola Corner were given a standing ovation at Savoy Place in London as Ms Corner received the Journalists' Charity Award on Ms McKee’s behalf.

Ms Corner said her family was “deeply moved” by the support they had received since her sister’s murder by a New IRA gunman in Derry on April 18.

Presenting the award, Journalists’ Charity chief, James Brindle said society lost a journalist with “very special qualities”.

He said: “Lyra’s courage in bearing witness to violence on the streets of Derry is the type of commitment that journalists admire and hope to possess themselves.

Read More: Lyra McKee's sister urges killers to hand themselves in

“In addition, she championed the under-represented, gave a voice to those who weren’t being heard and held those in power to account. She reached out across the journalistic community to offer her support to people she didn’t even know,” he said.

Ms McKee’s family are to join friends in Derry tonight for a month’s mind Mass at St Mary’s Church, just yards from where she was shot in Creggan. Following Mass, her family and friends will hold a “Love for Lyra” service at Derry’s eternal Peace Flame in the city centre.

Close friend, Kathleen Bradley said tonight’s gathering is an opportunity for the people of Derry to show their support for Ms McKee’s partner, Sara Canning and her family. Ms Bradley said the event will also be an opportunity to call on anyone with information about her murder to come forward.

“Lyra was all about being inclusive at all times so this is just following her lead allowing people to be part of remembering her a month after we lost her,” Ms Bradley said.

Read More: Dissident republicans behind Lyra McKee's death 'no better than paedophiles'

Ms McKee’s partner, Ms Canning, will also address a rally tomorrow at Belfast City Hall, calling for same sex marriage to be legalised in Northern Ireland.

In a fresh appeal for information, marking the month’s mind of Ms McKee’s death, the police officer leading the murder investigation this morning called on the gunman responsible to hand himself in.

Detective Superintendent Jason Murphy said the gunman should explain why she died to Ms McKee’s family.

“Lyra McKee’s family deserve an explanation for the events of that night and thus far, not one single person had provided a direct explanation to Lyra’s family,” Mr Murphy said.

In a separate development the National Union of Journalists has denounced dissident republican political group, Saoradh as “hypocritical” after it expressed concern over the presence of a film crew during a police search in Derry on Wednesday. The NUJ said Saoradh’s statement was “menacing and arrogant”.

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