DJ Carolyn Stewart remembers 'dedicated' Lyra McKee who joined radio show production team
Radio DJ Carolyn Stewart has paid tribute to former colleague Lyra McKee, describing the woman she took under her wing as a "dedicated journalist with an incredible drive".
The U105 presenter has told how she gave Lyra, who was murdered in Derry's Creggan area on Thursday night, a start in media by bringing her aboard her 'Saturday Night Fever' radio show to work behind the scenes.
In a moving Facebook post, Carolyn spoke of her sorrow at learning of Lyra's death, and spoke of the passion that would lead her onwards to a successful career in journalism.
"Lyra was a beautiful young woman, a dedicated journalist with an incredible drive to report and show true life through her writings," Carolyn stated.
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"My memories of Lyra paint a picture of a shy young girl from North Belfast, who was trying to make her dream come true, a dream of being an investigative journalist, full of determination to make it happen."
The broadcaster continued: "I first met Lyra 10 years ago when she approached me with a thirst to learn about radio and broadcasting, volunteering her services with such an enthusiastic and determined attitude; how could I refuse?"
Carolyn said she knew she had "struck gold" with Lyra, who would go on to have work published in The Atlantic, Private Eye, and Buzzfeed News.
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"I have never met a young person with so much passion for her work," Carolyn said.
"All of this was part of Lyra's journey, part of her training ground to help her develop and eventually get to where she wanted to be - a true and honest journalist."
She added: "To hear that Lyra's young life has been cut short so senselessly, is beyond belief. My heart goes out to Lyra's family."