Lyra McKee's murder shows we must reject violence once and for all
Lyra McKee was just eight years old when the Good Friday Agreement was signed, a pact that was weighted with the hope and desire that future generations would not have to experience the trauma and pain inflicted on thousands of people throughout decades of conflict.
How cruel that Lyra, a young journalist and campaigner with so much ability and promise, should have her life ended so brutally and abruptly by someone who refuses to understand that violence is not the answer, who clings to the futile belief that firing a gun or planting a bomb will further the cause of Irish unity.
Primarily, of course, Lyra McKee's death is a shocking tragedy for her partner, her mother, family and friends and the sympathy of the entire community will be with them at this terrible time.
In wider terms, it is a further indictment of the so-called strategy of those who style themselves as the New IRA, who fired recklessly and indiscriminately into a crowded street, leaving this young woman mortally wounded.
The nauseating statement from Saoradh, attempting to deflect blame for the murder onto the PSNI, will be rightly dismissed as weasel words from those who are determined to take no responsibility for the consequences of their actions.
As we know, if a police officer had been killed rather than a journalist, the dissidents would have been gloating today.
The joint appearance of political leaders in the Creggan yesterday, among them Arlene Foster who was warmly received, was a positive development on a profoundly depressing day.
It is a matter of immense regret that the spirit of the Good Friday Agreement, which was never intended to mark the end of a process but the means to help it move forward, has been squandered in so many respects.
Our young people deserve to have a future that is better than the past.
This Easter weekend, political representatives should reflect on their own contribution to building a better society where peace, tolerance, respect and fairness replace violence, prejudice, division and suspicion.