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Man charged with Derry gun murder of journalist Lyra

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Lyra McKee died last April

Lyra McKee died last April

Lyra McKee died last April

A man has been charged with the murder of journalist Lyra McKee.

The Belfast writer (29) was shot dead while observing rioting in Derry in April.

The New IRA said it carried out the killing.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) said: "Detectives from the PSNI's Major Investigation Team have charged a 52-year-old man with the murder of Lyra McKee, who was shot dead by terrorists in Derry on April 18 2019.

"The man, from the city, who was arrested by detectives yesterday and taken to Musgrave Serious Crime Suite, is also charged with possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life and professing to be a member of a proscribed organisation."

He will appear at Derry Magistrates' Court today. Ms McKee was standing near a police vehicle when she was hit by a bullet fired by a masked gunman towards officers.

Quest

Detective Superintendent Jason Murphy said: "I have always said a number of individuals were involved with the gunman on the night Lyra was killed and while today is significant for the investigation the quest for the evidence to bring the gunman to justice remains active and ongoing."

The journalist had been living in Londonderry with her partner, Sara Canning.

The gay-rights activist was an articulate advocate of a new and more tolerant Northern Ireland and part of the generation that reached adulthood during peacetime.

She wrote for publications including Private Eye and Buzzfeed.

Her funeral was attended by President Michael D Higgins, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, and then-UK prime minister Theresa May at St Anne's Cathedral in Belfast.

Catholic priest Fr Martin Magill received a standing ovation when he asked why it took her death to unite politicians.

Days later, the British and Irish governments announced a new talks process aimed at restoring devolution.

Power-sharing was resurrected last month and the first same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland took place this week.