Current Affairs Politics

Journalist Lyra McKee Killed During Suspected New IRA Attack On The PSNI In Derry

The tragic death of the journalist and author Lyra McKee during overnight clashes in the city of Derry is a shocking reminder that political violence seems to be an almost inescapable outcome of partition and the United Kingdom’s continued territorial presence in the north-east of Ireland, no matter how great the strides we have made with peace and reconciliation on this island nation. The twenty-nine year old novelist was standing near an armoured jeep of the PSNI, the UK’s paramilitary police force in the Six Counties, when several shots were fired in its direction, inflicting a fatal head wound on the reporter in a reckless and ill-conceived attack currently being blamed on the New IRA.

The incident was the bloody culmination of a night of unrest in the Creggan district of the city following police raids on two houses in the area, leading to sustained street protests. As a result, a talented young woman who was giving so much to her country has had her life cruelly snatched away from her while a no doubt young man must live with the dreadful knowledge today that he was the perpetrator of that cruelty despite believing that he too was working towards the ultimate betterment of his country.

As I have stated on numerous occasions, resisting Britain’s colonial legacy in Ireland can take many forms, from the political to the cultural. But military or paramilitary resistance should be, must be, an act of last resort, and in these present times the vast majority of the Irish people can see no justification or reason for it (especially as we seek to unite not just our island but its diverse peoples too). I would remind those of the “Dissident Republican” community, the activists and supporters of various organisations and parties who read this website, of one sobering fact. Since the Good Friday Agreement of 1998 and the turn of the 21st century up to one hundred men, women and children have been killed by Irish insurgent forces, including the Real IRA, New IRA, Continuity IRA, Óglaigh na Éireann, RAAD, and various factions, splinters or associates thereof in both politically-motivated and criminally-motivated violence across the Thirty-Two Counties. Not one Irish-born person has been killed by the British Forces in Ireland in that same period through politically-related violence. Which makes one question who the real oppressors are at this moment in our national history.

17 comments on “Journalist Lyra McKee Killed During Suspected New IRA Attack On The PSNI In Derry


    Tragic and pointless waste of life. The era of physical force politics in Ireland is gone. I will achieve nothing but more grief and heartbreak.

  2. The justifications from ‘Saorabh’ on their people’s liberating this woman of her life are beyond despicable.

  3. What was she doing next to an RUC vehicle during a riot? I smell B.S and the MSM are going into overdrive on this (fishy in itself). Note that dissidents have been a “severe” problem since 2009 (a decade) yet are a “microgroup without support”. They need to move south pronto.

    • ceannaire

      The murder of an Irish journalist by an unrepresentative gang is fishy.

      Kitson would be extremely proud of them.

      • Journalist? I search in vain for her Private Eye writings. She was a gay icon apparently.

        • ceannaire

          What has “gay icon” got to do with it? Behave yourself!

          The micro group without support has even less support now. Went from Éirigí to Saoradh. What’s next? Amadáin?

          That’s the level of incompetence you think (some) people support.

    • It’s not the first time that “Dissident Republicans” have opened fire on the PSNI during rioting, with largely reckless shooting that has narrowly missed reporters and onlookers. I can name several incidents off the top of my head from just the last few years. Through Saoradh the NIRA has effectively taken responsibility for the accidental killing. The blame is on them for this awful death. This is a ceasefire moment and they should take it.

      • Yeeeessss microgroup with no support who for the last decade have run rings round Billy/Davy/Robbie and Sammy of the RUC/PSNI. Sell out Sinn Fein will make capital out of McKee’s martyrdom. NIRA are not the men what will not be blamed for nothing.

    • Journalists go all kinds of places most people wouldn’t. That’s kind of how they do that little thing called “Original Fact Reporting”.

      You probably wouldn’t say that about a journalist who was shot in Gaza or infiltrating some fanatic group.

      • All I can say is that it gets fishier. Journalist was closed social media account? Who was a novelist? Who had coffee with head of RUC??

        • Her personal social media accounts were closed, not her professional ones. However fishy it might be, no one deserves a bullet while doing their job and most of the people that I have seen who are pointing out the tiniest details like this are trying to justify a bad shoot in a difficult situation. Hopefully we can all agree that this was an innocent death, and a tragic, unjustified one at that

          • She had tea with the Chief Constable the week before, hardly objective in a hack. Now she is portrayed as a novelist. Gets odder, she was at the back when shot?

            • Ciaran, I don’t think this speculation or tangential points serve any real purpose. The NIRA has admitted its culpability and we have independent eyewitness testimony of what happened. Journalists meet figures all the time. I think I’ll be closing comments on this post.

  4. Look at who is paying tribute to her. Ruth Dudley Edwards and Henry Mcdonald need I say more.

    • As I understand it, Henry McDonald knew McKee so in fairness he has every right to pay tribute to her.

      The great irony here is that Lyra McKee was the very type of person, a young, feminist, LGBTQ and politically-engaged woman, that the NIRA strand of revolutionary republicanism would nominally claim to represent and look to for support or a fair hearing.

      I think that all the condemnation coming the way of NIRA and its associates today is unfortunately well-earned.

      Even if certain individuals and politicians will seek to exploit it for their own ends.

  5. Looking from the outside it is difficult to understand what is going on.

    On one hand one saw the GFA, an assembly and politics as being the hope for the future.

    Now on another hand one sees a collapsed assembly, the potential for a border, the removal of a majority of NI citizenry from the EU against their democratically expressed wishes. One also sees a Democratic Unionist Party with 37% of the popular vote making the Westminster government dance to their jig.

    A heady mix, and then one sees the physical discontent that has now been seen manifesting itself on the streets with paramilitary – army action all too reminiscent of the recent past.

    Now whilst the truth of what is going on is not being reported, as it ever was, the tragedy of a country, or part of a country, taken as a colony years before is once again coming to the fore. Yes the politics are complicated, and then some. But at the end of the day continuing partition and social divide is at the heart of this, and it has not, at least not yet, gone away.

    The death of Lyra McKee is a tragedy. Folks know that. They’ve been through it before. Let us hope the politico’s, and especially the current crop of Westminster Brexiteers understand that.

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