Lyra McKee killers caught in antiquated time warp, Sinn Fein deputy leader says

The killers of murdered journalist Lyra McKee are caught in an antiquated time warp, a demonstration by mainstream republicans heard.

Sinn Fein deputy leader Michelle O’Neill said those involved had appointed themselves to carry out actions she branded pointless, anti-peace and anti-community.

The party’s vice president addressed an Easter commemoration ceremony in Londonderry on Sunday and hit out at “futile” dissident republicans who want to kill police.

Londonderry unrest
Journalist Lyra McKee who was shot and killed when guns were fired and petrol bombs were thrown in Londonderry (Family handout/PA)

Ms McKee was shot in the head by a gunman aiming to murder officers during disturbances in the Creggan in the city on Thursday.

“The people who brought guns on to the street, and those who organised them do not represent any version of Irish republicanism,” Ms O’Neill told those gathered at the commemoration.

“They have no politics, no strategy, and no popular support amongst the vast number of ordinary people from this city, or anywhere else in the country.

“Sadly, what we have here is a small number of people caught in a time warp who have self-appointed themselves to carry out actions which are pointless, anti-peace, anti-community and frankly, antiquated.

“They are living in a fool’s paradise if they think they are any type of rival to the Sinn Fein and the nationalist/republican and progressive people of Derry or the 32 counties.”

Ms O’Neill extended her sympathies and condolences to Ms McKee’s family, her partner Sara and her friends and colleagues.

Londonderry unrest
Sara Canning, the partner of 29-year-old journalist Lyra McKee (Brian Lawless/PA)

She said Ms McKee was an “intelligent, hardworking, articulate young woman”, who had a whole life to lead.

The Mid Ulster Stormont Assembly member appealed for young people involved in dissident activity to consider what type of future they wanted – one of peace or one of death – and what type of Ireland they wanted to be part of going forward.

“It is high time these men disbanded and ended their futile actions,” she added.

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