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Saturday 19 October 2019

MTV denies its film crew's appearance fanned flames of riot

Probe continues: Investigators at the scene of the fatal shooting on the Creggan estate
Photo: Paul FAITH / AFP
Probe continues: Investigators at the scene of the fatal shooting on the Creggan estate Photo: Paul FAITH / AFP
Laura Lynott

Laura Lynott

MTV insists there is "no evidence" any media presence in Derry "contributed or impacted" the night of rioting which culminated in the murder of Lyra McKee.

The broadcaster made the statement in the wake of reports youths in the nationalist Creggan estate had orchestrated the rioting for the cameras, knowing MTV was filming with former 'Top of the Pops' presenter Reggie Yates.

Yates has been filming a documentary series with MTV on the issues young people face globally in 'Reggie Yates vs The World'. A promo describes the presenter as "immersing himself in extreme situations to gain new perspective on each situation".

Yates and his crew were filming in Creggan last Thursday when youths started hurling petrol bombs at PSNI officers before the fatal shooting of journalist Ms McKee.

A spokeswoman for MTV told the Irish Independent: "As stated by the PSNI, there is no evidence of any sort to show that the presence of media on the ground contributed or impacted the situation on the Creggan estate the night that Lyra McKee was tragically shot and killed.

"Crowds had already assembled following a police search in the area and, upon hearing about the search, a production company filming a documentary for MTV made their way to the area, as did multiple other news crews who were also present on the scene. MTV is not a line of enquiry in police investigations."

'The Guardian' reported that a community organiser in Derry claimed members of the New IRA and its political wing Saoradh were playing to the cameras.

MTV travelled to Derry with Flicker Productions, producers of the show, to investigate social tensions after the Brexit vote and ongoing impasse.

Calls have been made to restore power-sharing in the North in the wake of Ms McKee's murder.

Colum Eastwood, leader of the SDLP, tweeted: "I have written to all party leaders across the North and the two governments to ask for the commencement of immediate political talks to restore power-sharing. We need a government, this cannot go on. Enough is enough."

Irish Independent

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