THE heartbroken mother of murdered journalist Lyra McKee has left an emotional message to her "baby daughter" at the spot where she was shot and fatally wounded.
Joan McKee and her family left floral tributes at Fanad Drive in the Creggan two weeks after the 29-year-old was killed. The writer, who was from Belfast but was living in Derry, was shot in the head by the New IRA who fired indiscriminately towards police Land Rovers during rioting.
The murder sparked a furious backlash with dissident republican political group Saoradh becoming the focus of public anger. Friends of the murdered woman staged a protest at Junior McDaid House, the party's headquarters, daubing red handprints on the walls. The party’s Twitter account was also suspended.
In an emotional message left on flowers at the scene where she died, Ms McKee’s family said: “Our dear baby sister Lyra. Our hearts are broken as your sweet life was stolen.
“You will forever dwell in our souls. Sweet heart. We love you and will miss you until we meet again.”
The card, accompanied by yellow roses, was signed by Nichola, Gary, Mark, Joan, Mary David, John, Kevin, Susan and Nicola.
A separate tribute penned by Joan McKee, read simply: “To my darling baby daughter, Lyra. Will miss you forever. All my love, mum, xxx.”
A steady stream of sympathisers from throughout Ireland have visited the spot since the murder, leaving flowers, gifts and messages of support for her family, friends and partner Sara Canning.
The family’s visit came after pro-IRA graffiti and messages around Creggan warning people against cooperating with police was replaced with inspirational messages. The move came after talks between Creggan Neighbourhood Partnership and dissident republican group Saoradh.
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