Friday 24 May 2019

Lyra McKee: Woman killed in Derry violence was a 'rising star of investigative journalism'

Lyra McKee
Lyra McKee
Lyra McKee
Lyra McKee
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Journalist Lyra McKee tweeted about the "absolute madness" in Derry in the hours before she was shot dead on Thursday evening.

Ms McKee, 29, rose to prominence in 2014 after a blog post called "Letter to my 14-year-old self" in which she spoke about the struggle of growing up gay in Belfast.

In the five years since, her letter was turned into a short film, she became a published author with Angels With Blue Faces, and had recently signed a two-book deal with Faber & Faber, as well as appearing in domestic and international publications.

Named as one of the "30 under 30 in media" by Forbes Magazine in 2016, Ms McKee was cited for her passion of "dig(ging) into topics that others don't care about".

Angels With Blue Faces, a non-fiction book about the Troubles-era cold case murder of South Belfast MP Rev Robert Bradford, was released in 2018 and her latest book, The Lost Boys, is due for publication by Faber & Faber next year.

The book, which described the author as a "rising star of investigative journalism", focuses on the story of Thomas Spence and John Rodgers, who vanished near the Falls Road in west Belfast in November 1974.

In an earlier piece about the book, agent Janklow and Nesbit said: "Lyra is a 27-year-old investigative journalist who grew up on Belfast's Cliftonville Road, just off the infamous Murder Mile, the area which saw more casualties per square foot than any other part of the city during the Troubles.

"Lyra is fascinated by the recent history of the city; her focus as a journalist is the indirect ways the violence of war plays out, through its secondary waves of victims, and through the way trauma is passed on to subsequent generations.

Armed police at the scene of unrest in Creggan, Derry. Photo: PA
Armed police at the scene of unrest in Creggan, Derry. Photo: PA
Heavilly armed police guard a crime scene during unrest in the Creggan area of Derry Photo credit: Niall Carson/PA Wire
A PSNI officer conducts a search after shots where reportedly fired in Creggan, Derry. Photo: PA
A hijacked car explodes after being set on fire in Creggan, Derry. Photo: PA
Armed police in Creggan, Derry after shots were fired and petrol bombs were thrown at police. Photo: PA
Hijacked vehicles on fire in Creggan, Derry. Photo: PA
Police conduct a crime scene search after shots where fired in Creggan, Derry. Photo: PA
Hijacked vehicles one fire in Creggan, Derry. Photo: PA

"Like Anna Funder's Stasiland and Andy O'Hagan's The Missing, The Lost Boys will be an investigation, but also a portrait of a place; of Belfast and of the Troubles, at the first moment in time where it's become possible to write about them historically (as well as, alas, a moment where tensions are rising once again)."

Lyra McKee's death is being treated as a 'terrorist incident'
Lyra McKee's death is being treated as a 'terrorist incident'

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