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Friday 24 May 2019

'Cowards' will not drag us back to past, says Taoiseach


An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar
An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar
Ian Begley

Ian Begley

The world has reacted with disgust after journalist Lyra McKee was murdered while working in Derry.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar branded her killers "cowards" as he insisted they will fail to drag Ireland into the past.

"This was an act of fear. This was an act of cowardice," he said. "Those who carried it out do not share the values of our nation, nor our Republic. This was an attack not just on one citizen, it was an attack on all of us."

President Michael D Higgins also condemned the killing, saying: "I express shock on behalf of all of the Irish people and our outrage too at the taking of a life of a talented writer and journalist, a campaigner for rights, in the course of her professional work."

Former US president Bill Clinton wrote on Twitter: "Heartbroken by the murder of Lyra McKee and the violence in Derry.

"The challenges in Northern Ireland today are real - but we cannot let go of the last 21 years of hard-won peace and progress. This tragedy is a reminder of how much everyone has to lose if we do."

Less than 24 hours after her death, vigils in memory of Ms McKee took place in Dublin, Belfast and Derry.

In Dublin, dozens of mourners flocked to St Stephen's Green to express their sympathies.

Gail Walker, editor of the 'Belfast Telegraph', said: "Lyra was a prodigiously talented journalist, one of the brightest and best of her generation, and I am so proud that she was a regular contributor to the 'Belfast Telegraph'.

"As a friend, she was kind, caring and loyal - and great fun."

Irish Independent

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