Tuesday 15 October 2019

Barnier: Killing shows North's peace is fragile

The EU's chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier. Photo: PA
The EU's chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier. Photo: PA
A gunman emerges from the shadows to fire indiscriminately into the crowd, killing the 29-year-old journalist
Wayne O'Connor

Wayne O'Connor

The EU's chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, has said the killing of journalist Lyra McKee demonstrates work is needed to preserve Northern Ireland's "fragile" peace.

His comments yesterday came as tributes poured in for the 29-year-old amid anxiety about escalating tensions in the North. "We must all work to preserve the achievements of the Good Friday Agreement," Mr Barnier said.

"The tragic murder of Lyra McKee is a reminder of how fragile peace still is in Northern Ireland."

The UK government's Northern Ireland Secretary, Karen Bradley, was among the first to sign a book of condolence at the 19th-century Guildhall in Derry city centre yesterday morning.

She wrote: "A tragic loss, such promise, such energy, so much potential. We can only imagine what you would have achieved."

Ms McKee was shot during rioting in Derry last Thursday night.

A floral tribute left at the scene by her partner, Sara Canning, read: "My beautiful Lyra, our time together was too short, and your light was snuffed out too soon.

"I love you forever, your Sara xxx."

Local resident John McGonagle signed the Guildhall book of condolence.

He had been a city-centre business owner during the decades of conflict when violent deaths were commonplace.

"I am revolted by the whole thing. It is a retrograde step. Derry is one of the most wonderful cities in the world," Mr McGonagle said.

"It does not need it or deserve it and Lyra did not deserve to die. It is as simple as that."

Sunday Independent

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