Northern Ireland news

Lyra McKee book on Robert Bradford and Kincora scandal to go on sale

Aoife Moore, Press Association

A book written by murdered journalist Lyra McKee will go on pre-sale this month.

Ms McKee was shot by dissident republicans on April 18 during unrest in the Creggan area of Derry.

The PSNI are investigating the circumstances around Ms McKee's death and no-one has been charged with her murder.

The book, Angels With Blue Faces, is a five-year investigation into the IRA killing of MP Robert Bradford in 1981, and will be released at the end of June.

The book is now available on pre-release from Belfast-based publishers Excalibur Press.

Mr Bradford's death and that of 29-year-old Ken Campbell have been the subject of speculation and conspiracy theories surrounding allegations that the MP was about to expose details of abuse at a children's home.

Ms McKee interviewed Mr Bradford's friends, colleagues and acquaintances, as well as a number of other sources - and claims the MP's killing might have been stopped by intelligence services.

Ms McKee's sister Nichola McKee Corner said she was proud to see the book about to be published.

"Lyra put years into this project," she said.

"It is so sad that she never got to hold the final copy of Angels With Blue Faces in her hand," she said.

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

In January 2018, Ms McKee struck a deal with publishers Excalibur Press to publish the book.

Tina Calder, owner of Excalibur Press, said she was "proud" they were now in a position to release the book as part of Ms McKee's legacy.

"It is with great sadness but immense honour that we are now able to reveal the cover of Angels With Blue Faces," she said.

"Just a short time before her death, Lyra had approved her cover and sent the final changes for her book, she should have been holding it in her hand at the end of April.

"Lyra's investigation into the death of Northern Ireland MP 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.

"We were absolutely delighted when Lyra agreed to entrust Excalibur Press with this book and were devastated to learn of her death just days before the book should have been going on pre-release and less than a month before she would have held it in her hand.

"All pre-orders will be received at the end of June. Those who order will also be invited to the official launch of the book, the date of which will be announced soon."

As per Ms McKee's wishes prior to her death, her own proceeds from the book will be donated to the organisation Paper Trail - a social enterprise which offers specialised and targeted legacy archive research to the legal profession.

Ms Calder added: "Excalibur Press will be donating our commission to our not-for-profit entity The Merlin Project, where we hope to run a series of events, workshops and potentially courses for young reporters wanting to learn some of the practical aspects of the industry.

"Taking inspiration from Lyra and her talent, we hope to teach young journalists the art of research as well as interview techniques and more."

Ms McKee's death sparked huge outrage at the lack of operating government in Stormont, and shone a light on the economic disenfranchisement of the Creggan area where she was killed.

Powersharing talks between politicians in Northern Ireland were restarted in the weeks following the fatal shooting.

British prime minister Theresa May, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and President Michael D Higgins attended her funeral in Belfast, along with a host of other politicians from across the UK.

Read more: Sex-abuse boy ‘sacrificed by RUC as part of dirty war'

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