Journalist’s death ‘should end use of guns in Londonderry’

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Lyra McKee’s death should help end the use of guns in Londonderry, one of her close friends urged.

The Belfast journalist’s murder highlights the peaceful expectations of a generation which matured to adulthood during the signing of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, Kathleen Bradley said.

She stood beside a pile of floral tributes at the spot where Ms McKee, 29, fell on Thursday night after being hit by an indiscriminate bullet fired towards police.

She said: “Lyra’s legacy I think will be opening all our eyes to what we should have got as a result of the Good Friday Agreement – the ceasefire babies’ generation.

“Lyra’s legacy will be in this town that guns don’t solve anything, guns should never be used for anything and her legacy will be that we will keep her name and spirit going amongst us.

“A very clear message has been given from not only the people of this town but wider afield to say that this is not okay, this is not acceptable, this is not justifiable.

“It has to stop, nothing is worth a life – nothing.”

Ms McKee was a “breath of fresh air” when she joined a group of 13 friends in her adopted city after she moved there with her partner Sara Canning.

They were last together on Sunday.

Londonderry unrest
On Saturday friends of Lyra McKee came to the spot where she died and stood, arm in arm, in silent grief (Brian Lawless/PA).

Ms Bradley said: “Lyra was one of the nicest people that you ever could have met, just so genuine and so sincere, and there is definitely a void now within our group that will never be filled again.”

She added: “She was just one of the most genuine, sincere, funny and intelligent people that I have come to know throughout my life.”

And Ms Bradley added that Ms McKee would have been very open about Northern Ireland needing to move on and hoping that it moved on.

Ms McKee said in a recent tweet that she loved Derry and there was no place for bombs and bullets.

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