Lyra McKee was a 29-year-old gay journalist from Belfast, Northern Ireland, who was tragically killed by a gunshot to the head by the New IRA in 2019, following riots in Creggan. McKee had arrived to report on the riots, which had been triggered by police raids that sought munitions from IRA dissidents ahead of the Easter Rising processions that were due that weekend. When a gunman opened fire on riot police, a stray bullet caught Lyra and killed her instantly.
Now, 3 years on, her family are one step closer to justice as the Police Service of Northern Ireland announced it had arrested four men – ages 19, 20, 21, and 33 – in connection with the murder, following a two-year investigation to locate the gunman.
“These arrests are the culmination of a detailed two-year investigation into Lyra’s murder and the events which preceded it,” detective superintendent Jason Murphy said in a statement.
“The local community have supported the Police Service of Northern Ireland throughout the course of this protracted investigation and I wish to thank them for their continued support and patience whilst this phase of the investigation is ongoing.”
Lyra's death was shocking to societies on both sides of the Northern Irish border. Her funeral attracted politicians and leaders from the UK and Ireland, and the National Union of Journalists formed an honor guard as countless vigils took place for this young, up-and-coming journalist.
She had flown into popular consciousness, writing about growing up gay in Northern Ireland, and went on to write in a number of national and international publications. At the time of her death, the publishing of her first book was just around the corner.
It is hoped now that some closure can be had and healing can start to begin.