Monday 16 September 2019

PSNI claims there is evidence to bring Lyra McKee's murderers to justice

Chief Constable George Hamilton (right) with Temporary Deputy Chief Constable Stephen Martin speaking to media after the funeral of murdered journalist Lyra McKee Photo credit: Liam McBurney/PA Wire
Chief Constable George Hamilton (right) with Temporary Deputy Chief Constable Stephen Martin speaking to media after the funeral of murdered journalist Lyra McKee Photo credit: Liam McBurney/PA Wire
Lyra McKee: A journalist in the true sense of the word
A respectful applause rings out in Belfast Cathedral as coffin of Belfast journalist Lyra McKee enters the church
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Prime Minister Theresa May during the funeral service for murdered journalist Lyra McKee at St Anne's Cathedral in Belfast. Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Prime Minister Theresa May and President Michael D Higgins before the funeral service for murdered journalist Lyra McKee at St Anne's Cathedral in Belfast. Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Mourners arrive to attend the funeral of journalist Lyra McKee at St. Anne's Cathedral in Belfast, Northern Ireland April 24, 2019. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne
A mourner wearing a Gryffindor scarf arrives for the funeral of murdered journalist Lyra McKee at St Anne's Cathedral in Belfast, Northern Ireland April 24, 2019. Brian Lawless/Pool via REUTERS
Mourners arrive to attend the funeral of journalist Lyra McKee at St. Anne's Cathedral in Belfast, Northern Ireland April 24, 2019. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar , Prime Mnister Theresa May and President Michael D Higgins before the funeral service for murdered journalist Lyra McKee at St Anne's Cathedral in Belfast. Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, British Prime Mnister Theresa May and President Michael D Higgins before the funeral service for murdered journalist Lyra McKee at St Anne's Cathedral in Belfast Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Kevin Doyle in Belfast

THE evidence exists to bring Lyra McKee's murderers to justice - but people in Derry need to bring it to the PSNI, the Chief Constable George Hamilton has said.

Speaking outside the young journalist's funeral, Mr Hamiliton told reporters the "unique circumstances" of events in Derry last week has led to "a groundswell of opinion away from violence, towards law and order and supporting the police in a way that has not always happened in the past".

Echoing the words of Fr Martin Magill during the ceremony, he said responsibility falls on political leaders to "step up and take advantage of these tragic circumstances".

"I hope our political leaders will do just that. I hope people will continue to stand with the police, to co-operate with the police. Over 140 have come forward to provide video footage and witness accounts. We need more of that. We believe this murder is absolutely solvable," Mr Hamilton said.

Asked what protections are in place for people who do engage with the PSNI, the police chief said they are a long way from needing people to give evidence in court.

"We need people to come forward in the first instance and have conversations with us. We know people might be frightened, might be scared, might be intimidated by these thugs.

"We're not insensitive or blind to the sensitivities that have to be overcome," he said.

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He said the New IRA have carried out tragedy upon tragedy "and yet they continue with these reckless acts".

"These people have no concern for their own community, their own city, the people they have grown up with," he said.

Lyra McKee: A journalist in the true sense of the word
Lyra McKee: A journalist in the true sense of the word

Mr Hamilton promised that police will not be reckless with any information provided by the public.

"This isn't about being an informant or grassing someone up. This is about good citizenship. It's about respect for the rule of law," he said. 

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