Hundreds attend Lyra McKee vigil in Dublin

Hundreds of people turned out to Dublin’s Garden of Remembrance for a vigil organised by a leading union to celebrate the life of a journalist killed last week.

Lyra McKee, 29, was fatally shot in Derry on Thursday during a riot in the Creggan area of the city.

The NUJ organised the vigil (Niall Carson/PA)
The NUJ organised the vigil (Niall Carson/PA)

A group calling itself the New IRA, linked to dissident republican activity, claimed responsibility for Ms McKee’s death on Tuesday.

The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) organised the vigil, which saw hundreds of Ms McKee’s NUJ colleagues celebrate the life of the activist, and hear music by the Dublin Gay and Lesbian choir, Gloria.

Dr Grainne Healy, co-director of the Yes Equality Campaign read Ms McKee’s “Letter to my 14-year-old self”.

The LGBTQIA community was well represented (Niall Carson/PA)
The LGBTQIA community was well represented (Niall Carson/PA)

Excerpts from Ms McKee’s many other works were read aloud as crowds stood in silence with Pride flags and left flowers and candles around pictures of Ms McKee.

The vigil was concluded by a minute of applause.

People listen to speeches during the vigil before breaking out into applause instead of holding a minute’s silence (Niall Carson/PA)
People listen to speeches during the vigil before breaking out into applause instead of holding a minute’s silence (Niall Carson/PA)

An NUJ statement read: “Lyra’s murder on Thursday night is a devastating blow to her partner and family, and to her many friends and colleagues throughout the NUJ. We keep in our thoughts Lyra’s partner Sara, her mother Joan, sisters Nichola, Mary, Joan and her brothers Gary and David.

“The union is encouraging every NUJ member to take part in a symbolic action of solidarity.”

Books of condolences will also be available at the receptions in Headland House, the NUJ’s London headquarters, and also in Dublin.

The NUJ has been supporting friends of Lyra who set up a GoFundMe account, as a practical act of solidarity to cover funeral expenses and to establish a legacy to mark Lyra’s contribution to journalism. You can donate to the fund online here.

Earlier today, journalists in Limerick held a lunchtime vigil in memory of Ms McKee.

“We’re here because of the tragic and obnoxious killing of our colleague Lyra McKee, to show solidarity with other journalists, with her partner, her family, and friends, and with all our colleagues in Ireland, north and south,” explained Norma Prendiville, Chairperson of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ), South West branch.

“Over 160 journalists around the world were murdered last year in the course of their duty. In many ways we thought those days in Northern Ireland were finished, so it was a real, deep, seismic shock to all of us when we heard about Lyra’s killing.”

- Press Association

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