Lyra McKee: four men arrested over killing of journalist in Derry

Police in Northern Ireland have arrested four men as part of the investigation into the murder of the journalist Lyra McKee in 2019.

The four men, aged 19, 20, 21 and 33, were arrested under the Terrorism Act 2006 on Wednesday morning. They were in the Derry area, and are now being questioned at Musgrave police station in Belfast.

DSI Jason Murphy: “These arrests are the culmination of a detailed two-year investigation into Lyra’s murder and the events which preceded it. The local community have supported the Police Service of Northern Ireland throughout the course of this protracted investigation and I wish to thank them for their continued support.”

One man, Paul McIntyre, 53, from the Creggan area of Derry, has already been charged with McKee’s murder. He denies the charge. Another man has been charged with rioting and other offences related to the night of the shooting.

McKee, 29, one of Northern Ireland’s most promising young journalists, was shot dead as she observed rioting in the Creggan area on 18 April 2019.

The New IRA, a dissident republican group, admitted responsibility and apologised, saying its gunman had been aiming at police.

The killing shocked Northern Ireland. McKee’s funeral turned into a rallying call for nationalist and unionist parties to stop squabbling and build on the spirit of the 1998 Good Friday agreement.

On the second anniversary of the death in April 2021 the National Union of Journalists launched a campaign urging witnesses to come forward with fresh information.

Billboards appeared across Derry with the same message and thousands of letters from McKee’s family appealing for information were delivered to homes in the city.

Despite the revulsion at McKee’s murder, the New IRA and other dissident republican groups have persisted with sporadic attacks and intimidation.

In a joint operation in August 2020, police fromboth sides of the Irish border raided properties across Ireland and detained 10 suspected members of the New IRA.

It emerged that a former Scottish police officer turned MI5 spy, Dennis McFadden, had infiltrated the group, leading to the arrests and the disruption of links between dissident republicans and terrorist groups in the Middle East.

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