- 19 Apr 19
The leaders of the six main parties in Northern Ireland have released a joint statement on the death of journalist Lyra McKee.
Lyra McKee was killed during rioting in Derry's Creggan estate last night, with Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hamilton saying that he believed the 'New IRA' were behind the attack and that he would be starting a murder inquiry.
In response, politicians from across the board have condemned the killing.
Earlier this afternoon, the leaders of Northern Ireland's six largest parties, including the DUP's Arlene Foster, Sinn Fein's Michelle O'Neill, UUP's Robin Swann, SDLP's Colum Eastwood, Alliance's Naomi Long, and the Green Party's Clare Bailey, released a statement about the murder.
Their statement reads; "The murder of Lyra McKee is first and foremost a devastating loss for her grieving partner, family and friends, and our thoughts are with them at this awful time.
"Lyra's murder was also an attack on all the people of this community, an attack on the peace and democratic process.
"It was a pointless and futile act to destroy the progress made over the last 20 years, which has the overwhelming support of people everywhere.
"We are united in rejecting those responsible for this heinous crime.
"They have no support in the community, must be brought to justice and should disband immediately.
"We reiterate our support for the PSNI, who while carrying out their duties were also the target of last night's attack. We call on anyone with any information to bring that forward to the police and assist their inquiries.
"This is a time for calm heads."
The statement comes as Lyra's partner, as well as party leaders, have been addressing in public with speeches in Creggan.
President Michael D. Higgins has also visited Belfast today to sign a book of condolences for Lyra.
President Michael D Higgins pays tribute to Lyra McKee following death in #Derry Describes her as talented writer, journalist, campaigner for rights. Taken by those who represent nobody on this island. On behalf of all of people of Ireland sympathy w partner, family & friends. pic.twitter.com/pyVPiaWOTO
— Amanda Ferguson (@AmandaFBelfast) April 19, 2019