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RTÉ apologises after republican party Éirígí wrongly linked to Lyra McKee killing

Lyra McKee was murdered in 2019
Connla Young

RTÉ has apologised after republican party Éirígí was wrongly linked to the murder of Lyra McKee.

It is understood the broadcaster has agreed to make a five-figure donation to several charities including one linked to the 29-year-old journalist.

Ms McKee was shot dead by the New IRA during rioting in Derry in April 2019.

During a live RTÉ discussion about protests in Dublin city centre earlier this month, Éirígí was wrongly linked to the killing by commentator John McGuirk.

In a statement read out on Prime Time earlier this week, the broadcaster said: "One of our live contributors wrongly said that the political party Éírigí was responsible for the shooting of a journalist and endorses terrorism in Northern Ireland.

"We corrected that statement on the night and have been asked by Éírigí to clarify that it is an open, registered political party that has never been involved in shooting a journalist and does not support violence.

"We are happy to do so and apologise sincerely for what was said."

Mr McGuirk tweeted after the original programme that he "got my republican groups mixed up badly, in a slip of the tongue" and apologised to Éírigí.

Éirígí last night said RTÉ would pay substantial donations to several charities it has nominated and cover all legal fees.

National chairman Brian Leeson said: “For Éirígí this was always a matter of principle. We did not set out to gain financial advantage individually or collectively from this situation.

"But we did feel that it was appropriate for RTÉ to pay a financial price for the wrong that was done to the party and to our individual members.

“We felt this was best done by securing significant donations from RTÉ for a number of charities, which we have now done."

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