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Lyra McKee: PM pays tribute to journalist on anniversary of shooting

Rishi Sunak said Ms McKee caught the imagination of young people in Northern Ireland.
Rishi Sunak said Ms McKee caught the imagination of young people in Northern Ireland. Rishi Sunak said Ms McKee caught the imagination of young people in Northern Ireland.

Rishi Sunak has paid tribute to Lyra McKee, marking the anniversary of the journalist’s death in Northern Ireland in 2019.

Ms McKee died after being hit by a bullet during rioting in the Creggan area of Londonderry on April 18 2019, with dissident republican group the New IRA linked to the killing.

The remarks by the Prime Minister, who praised her as the embodiment of a “better Northern Ireland”, come as the region marks the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement.

In a tribute issued by Downing Street to mark four years since the shooting, Mr Sunak said: “Today, we remember Lyra McKee, a journalist who caught the imagination of young people in Northern Ireland.

“In strongly rejecting sectarianism, she embodied the Northern Ireland that I see today – one of realising a better Northern Ireland than what had come before her.

“We stand united against the insidious ideology of those who stole her dreams and what she could have gone on to contribute.”

Ms McKee was remembered as part of an event at the Guildhall in Derry on Tuesday, with Tim Wheeler of the band Ash dedicating a performance of his band’s hit Shining Light to her memory.

Mr Wheeler, performing at the Making Hope And History Rhyme event organised by the John and Pat Hume Foundation, told the audience he would like to dedicate the performance to Ms McKee and all her family and friends.

Former US president Bill Clinton also paid tribute to Ms McKee as he attended a special screening in Belfast of a film about her alongside ex-US secretary of state Hillary Clinton.

He described the film while addressing the event in Londonderry on Tuesday as “wonderful”.

Mr Clinton said her life is a testament to the unlimited potential of the people of her generation.

“Her death is a powerful reminder that there are few permanent victories in politics or life,” he said.

“We owe it to her to, in her words, to say goodbye to bombs and bullets once and for all.”