Lyra McKee's death was 'no accident' says Karen Bradley
THE UK Government last night rejected apologies for the killing of journalist Lyra McKee, saying her murder was "no accident".
Ms McKee was shot dead on April 18 while covering rioting in Derry.
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Karen Bradley made a statement in the House of Commons relating to the death on Tuesday night.
Ms Bradley said those responsible for the "sickening and callous" attack would never win.
She paid tribute to Ms McKee, saying she was a brilliant, talented journalist and a true loss to Northern Ireland.
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"She was a role model to many who always fought to make Northern Ireland a better place," Ms Bradley said.
"Nothing we can say today can take away the pain that Lyra's family must be experiencing now. But what I can say to her family, the people of Derry and the whole of Northern Ireland is that we will continue to strive for peace in Northern Ireland."
Ms Bradley said the murder was also a tragedy for the community in Creggan and the city of Derry as a whole.
"This was a young woman with so much hope and so much to offer, unlike those who have continually shown that they have nothing to offer," she added.
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"It remains the case across Northern Ireland that small numbers of dissident republican terrorists remain intent on killing.
"What we have seen in the days since Lyra McKee's death is that the communities that they claim to represent and seek to control don't want them.
"They want peace, prosperity and progress and want no part of the sort of mindset that leads to the death of a young person simply doing her job."
"To those responsible for this act of terrorism, we say we have heard your excuses and your hollow apologies. No one buys it. This was no accident. There is nothing that can justify this murderous act and you are being called out for what you really are."
Ms Bradley said the "voices of peace" were "louder than those who peddle hate and division in a city with so much to offer".
"There is definitely a sense on the ground that this is the end. People don't want to see this happen again," she said.
"Those communities that have been oppressed by the terrorists, oppressed by the dissidents, made to live on estates in a way they don't want to, live in those estates and not be part of that, are standing up and saying no, not in my name.
"None of us can escape the symbolism of this, that it was Good Friday. It was a woman, a journalist, an innocent who was shot dead by terrorists. That is something that none of us can escape."
Labour's shadow Northern Ireland secretary Tony Lloyd said Ms McKee, "not the gunmen who mowed her down", truly represented the city.
"It is important we do remember the brightness of Lyra's life, and we said this was a life well lived. A young woman who most certainly was a child of the peace agreement," he said.
"A young woman that lived her life in the way she chose to live it and campaigned for the things she believed in. And we should remember that bright spark, not simply to remember the way in which that spark left the world."