Reward of £10,000 offered for information on Lyra McKee’s murder

Police hopeful reward will encourage witnesses to talk as public already very helpful

“I want to find the people who murdered Lyra and the information that can help us bring Lyra’s killer to justice lies within the local community,” says Det Supt Jason Murphy.  Photograph: Brian Lawless

“I want to find the people who murdered Lyra and the information that can help us bring Lyra’s killer to justice lies within the local community,” says Det Supt Jason Murphy. Photograph: Brian Lawless

 

A reward of up to £10,000 has been offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the murder of Lyra McKee.

The 29-year-old journalist was shot during rioting in the Creggan area of Derry on Thursday night. The dissident republican group the New IRA has said it carried out the shooting.

Senior investigating officer Det Supt Jason Murphy said he hoped the reward would further encourage witnesses to come forward. He said police had already received widespread support from the public.

“This may help assist us in our efforts to get some justice for Lyra and her loved ones,” he said. “People saw the gunman – people know who is responsible. I’m asking them to come forward and help us.

“Lyra tragically lost her life when bullets were fired indiscriminately into the community in Creggan,” he said.

“It was a senseless murder of a gifted young woman and Lyra’s family and loved ones have been left devastated by their loss.

“I want to find the people who murdered Lyra and the information that can help us bring Lyra’s killer to justice lies within the local community.”

As her funeral began in Belfast on Wednesday, several hundred people gathered in Guildhall Square in Derry at 1pm to pay their respects and show solidarity with McKee’s family and friends. A minute’s silence was followed by spontaneous applause from the crowd.

Among those present was the Catholic Primate of All Ireland, Archbishop Eamon Martin, who called on the North’s political parties to resume talks in the wake of Ms McKee’s murder.

‘Hatred’ and ‘violence’

“I think we do need leadership now,” said Archbishop Martin, “and we do need compromise.” “I think there has been a vacuum in recent months, and in fact if you go back it’s two years now since we’ve had any kind of meaningful Assembly or government in this part of the world. And if you create a gap like that inevitably people are going to move in and try to fill it with their own hatred, with their own violence.

“So I hope this does send a message to our political leaders that you have our support.

“Sometimes you hear people saying that maybe after the council elections we’ll sit down, or maybe after Brexit is sorted we’ll sit down.

“I think the people of Derry and the people all over this island are saying you have our support, to sit down now.”

His message was echoed by many of those present. Journalist and NUJ member Paul Gosling said he was “upset because a journalist has been killed, a journalist who is the same age as my daughters and who was killed five minutes’ walk from where I live.

“It feels like a turning-back of a peace process which never properly embedded,” he said.

Jean Hegarty, whose brother Kevin McElhinney was among those killed in Derry on Bloody Sunday, said she was hopeful this would be the last death of the Troubles.

“It should really be the last,” she said.

“I feel something has changed. I don’t think they [dissident republicans] are going to disappear, but I do feel that attitudes in Derry have changed. And it’s a step in the right direction.”