New IRA slogans in Derry painted over with community artwork
PRO-IRA slogans in Derry have been painted over following negotiations between Saoradh and community representatives.
The grafitti, stating that the New IRA "aren't done" and "undefeated army", appeared on walls at Central Drive in the Creggan estate, metres from where journalist Lyra McKee was killed on April 18.
The slogans had been restored after being painted over in the days following Ms McKee's murder. She was shot by dissident republicans who had fired at police lines during rioting.
The fresh artwork replacing the New IRA slogans were painted sometime on Friday.
One of the new murals reads "Take care of yourself, our differences make us stronger" while another states "we are all made of stars, the flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all."
Separate graffiti which warned that "informers will be executed", which had been daubed on the Old Library Trust Building in Central Drive, has also been removed.
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A spokesman for Creggan Neighbourhood Partnership said: 'This came about though a process of inclusive dialogue, which involved Saoradh and community leaders from throughout the Creggan area.
"They are all seeking to create the opportunity for calm to allow the community to come to terms with recent events and restore community harmony at this time.
"The artwork was done in conjunction with young people with the aim of promoting respect, inclusion and social justice."
Signs on lampposts, including one depicting a rat with the message "informers will be shot. IRA", were still up when The Irish News visited the scene.
The change in the artwork came as the murdered journalist was remembered during a May Day parade in Belfast on Saturday.
A special tribute was paid to Ms McKee as the annual trade unions' parade assembled at Writer's Square beside St Anne's Cathedral, where Ms McKee's funeral was held last month.
As the march passed Belfast City Hall, members of the National Union of Journalists stepped out to remember Ms McKee.
NUJ Irish secretary Seamus Dooley said: "We decided on applause because we felt it was wrong in the first instance to salute Lyra in silence.
"She was someone who was bright and vibrant. She was important to the trade union movement, she was important to the LGBT+ movement and she was important as a worker and as a force for good within the community."
Owen Reidy, the assistant general secretary of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, said that Ms McKee's "pointless murder is a reminder that we cannot take the peace process for granted and her life and murder must not be in vain".
"It also motivates us in the trade union movement, as the largest truly cross community civic society group in Northern Ireland, to stand up for peace, pluralism and diversity and all that is good about our society," he added.