Lyra McKee: ‘Intensive’ inquiry into journalist’s murder continues

Dissident republican placards with death threats to police informers removed in Creggan

Late journalist Lyra McKee, shot dead during disturbances in Creggan, Derry, in April of this year.  File photograph: Jess Lowe/EPA

Late journalist Lyra McKee, shot dead during disturbances in Creggan, Derry, in April of this year. File photograph: Jess Lowe/EPA

 

An “intensive investigation” is continuing into the murder of journalist Lyra McKee, according to the detective leading the inquiry.

The 29-year-old was shot and killed by the New IRA dissident republican group during rioting in the Creggan area of Derry in April.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) said there had been nine arrests and two individuals had been charged. A 51-year-old man has been charged with rioting, petrol bomb offences and arson of a vehicle, and a 38-year-old man has been charged with rioting, petrol bomb offences, arson and hijacking.

Meanwhile, 18 searches have been carried out.

A report in the Sunday Times claimed the main suspect in her murder has gone into hiding, possibly in the Republic. The police have previously released CCTV footage and stills they believe show the gunman who killed Ms McKee.

‘Intensive investigation’

Det Supt Jason Murphy said the inquiry into Ms McKee’s murder remained “an intensive investigation with excellent community support. The family of Lyra McKee are being regularly updated.

“I recognise people living in Creggan may feel it’s difficult to come forward to speak to police. I want to provide a personal reassurance that we are able to deal with these concerns sensitively,” he said.

The PSNI had previously said it would ask the North’s Public Prosecution Service for additional measures to protect the identity of anyone giving evidence, including speaking from behind screens.

The police also said 140 people had come forward with images, footage and other details. Det Supt Murphy said he still wanted to hear from anyone who had any information and appealed to the public to contact his detectives by telephoning 101.

Death threats

Two dissident republican placards which carried death threats against anyone giving information to the police have now been removed from lampposts in Creggan.

The placards had appeared along with other pro-dissident signs and graffiti in the aftermath of Ms McKee’s murder.

The majority were removed following negotiations between dissident republican political party Saoradh and community workers in Creggan.

The remaining two have now been covered with Saoradh placards.

“Having discussed the ongoing issues surrounding the signage and sought assurances, Saoradh have now erected signs covering the original boards,” the party said in a statement.