#WeStandWithLyra: Journalists hold vigils in honour of Lyra McKee

Fellow journalists from across the UK and Ireland held vigils in memory of Lyra McKee as her funeral was under way in Belfast.

Ms McKee, 29, died after being shot by the New IRA in Londonderry last Thursday.

She had worked for publications including The Belfast Telegraph and BuzzFeed News and wrote regularly about her experience of being a young gay woman in Northern Ireland.

She was due to publish a book about the death of Unionist MP Robert Bradford at the hands of the Provisional IRA in 1981.

Reporters from numerous outlets shared images on social media of their own vigils to coincide with her funeral service in Belfast, using the hashtag #WeStandWithLyra.

Many gathered at the Guildhall in Londonderry to offer their respects.

Staff from Channel 4 News in London were seen standing beside a screen bearing the hashtag and a photo of Ms McKee’s face, while the BBC Scotland newsroom also came to a standstill.

ITV News’s Rupert Evelyn tweeted a clip of people applauding the murdered reporter in their Bristol and South West newsroom.

Other similar tributes were seen in Cork, Galway and Glasgow and even as far afield as the United States, China and the Middle East.

Belfast-born BBC reporter Andrea Catherwood tweeted: “Cameras down in Doha to remember fellow journalist #LyraMcKee senselessly murdered in Derry. Her values of inclusion, love and equality are N Ireland’s future. #WestandwithLyra.”

The Press Gazette said that around 60 people had gathered in London at a service at St Bride’s Church in Fleet Street, known as “the journalists’ church”.

The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) showed an image of 29 candles placed at the church, in a reference to the age at which Miss McKee died.

The church tweeted: “We hold Lyra, her partner Sara, family, friends & colleagues in our hearts and prayers. May she rest in peace.”

At a vigil held last week in Londonderry, a speaker on behalf of the NUJ told the crowd: “The NUJ stands by the right of its members to investigate and report the news.

“We are deeply shocked that our young member has become the latest of over 1,300 journalists who have been killed worldwide since 1992 simply for doing their job.”