Cowards will not drag Ireland back into the past, vows Varadkar

The dissident republicans who murdered Lyra McKee are cowards who will fail in their hate-filled efforts to drag Ireland into the past, the Taoiseach has said.

Leo Varadkar paid tribute to Ms McKee as he gave a statement outside Government Buildings in Dublin.

“An activist and journalist, she changed lives as she lived and will do so again in death,” he said, vowing to stand in solidarity with the people of Derry.

“Twenty-one years ago today on Good Friday, we as a people, north and south, chose peace, democracy, powersharing and ever closer co-operation, and we will not be dragged into the past.

“There is no place or any justification for political violence in Ireland or Northern Ireland today.

“This was an act of fear, this was an act of hate, and this was an act of cowardice. Those who carried it out do not share the views of our nation nor of our republic and we reject them.

“And so this was an attack not just on one citizen, it was an attack on all of us, our nation and our freedoms.

“I want to express my solidarity with the people of Derry today, we stand with you as strong as your walls and for as long as they stand.”

The Taoiseach praised the “bravery” of the Police Service of Northern Ireland and emergency services in Derry.

He added: “I echo the call that anyone who has information should now come forward so that justice be done.”

- Press Association

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