Northern Ireland news

Doors closed at Saoradh HQ in Derry following notice to quit

Friends of murdered journalist Lyra McKee daubed red hand prints on Derry's Junior McDaid House
Seamus McKinney

THE Derry headquarters of dissident republican political group Saoradh remained closed yesterday following reports it has been served with a notice to quit the building.

Junior McDaid House on the edge of the Bogside is home to Saoradh, its youth wing Eistigí and the Irish Republican Prisoners’ Welfare Association.

It is named after IRA man James Junior McDaid who was shot dead by the British army in 1972.

Saoradh is supported by prisoners aligned to the 'New IRA' which shot dead journalist Lyra McKee (29) in Derry on Holy Thursday.

The murder provoked an outcry across Ireland and on Easter Monday, a protest at Junior McDaid House saw people daub red hand prints on its walls in what has become a social media symbol of opposition to dissident republicans.

Confirming that a notice to quit was served on Saoradh, one of the owners of the building, Tracey Murray, said Ms McKee’s murder was “heartbreaking”.

SDLP assembly member Mark H Durkan called on Saoradh and other dissident republican groups to heed the demands of the people of Derry and of Ireland.

“This is evidence of the growing revulsion across Derry and beyond of the murder of Ms McKee and the lack of remorse shown. Saoradh should listen to the people and get off their backs.”

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Meanwhile, Secretary of State Karen Bradley has described Ms McKee's funeral as an "incredibly emotional and touching event" where "all us heard a clear message".

She told MPs: "No more violence, no more division and no more delay. Northern Ireland's political leaders must come together now and must work together to stand firm against those who oppose peace and the political process, and work to build a genuinely shared future for all the people of Northern Ireland.

"Lyra symbolised the new Northern Ireland and her tragic death cannot be in vain."

Giving a statement in the House of Commons ahead of a new round of political talks aimed at re-establishing power-sharing, Mrs Bradley said there was "a narrow window in which genuine progress can be made and we must act now".

"Both and the UK and Irish governments have been clear that we will do everything in our power to make these talks a success, but we cannot do it alone."

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