Europe

4 arrested over death of Northern Ireland journalist

Lyra McKee was shot dead while covering riots in flashpoint city of Londonderry in 2019

Muhammad Mussa   | 15.09.2021
4 arrested over death of Northern Ireland journalist file photo

LONDON 

Police in Northern Ireland arrested on Wednesday four men in connection to the death of journalist Lyra McKee, who was murdered in April 2019.

The men were arrested under the UK’s Terrorism Act in the Northern Irish city of Londonderry (Derry), the Police Services of Northern Ireland said in a statement. Those held are aged 19, 20, 21 and 33.

"These arrests are the culmination of a detailed two-year investigation into Lyra's murder and the events which preceded it,” said Detective Superintendent Jason Murphy.

"The local community have supported the Police Service of Northern Ireland throughout the course of this protracted investigation and I wish to thank them for their continued support."

McKee was shot dead in April 2019 while covering riots in the republican stronghold of Derry. Her death drew shock and criticism from across the country, and it has been blamed on dissident republicans belonging to the so-called "New IRA."

Police and intelligence services believe that dissident republican groups are behind the riots that saw cars lit on fire and fire bombs used.

The Irish border has been the main point of contention between the EU and the UK following the latter’s exit from the bloc.

Both sides agree that there should be no hard border on the island of Ireland, however it is inevitable that border and custom check will be introduced under the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Since the UK voted to leave the EU in 2016, tension within Northern Ireland, which voted to remain, have steadily begun to rise as prospects of a hard border between the Republic of Ireland threaten to unravel the fragile 1998 Good Friday Agreement.

The agreement ended decades of sectarian conflict between the republican Catholics, who want a united Ireland, and the unionist Protestants who wish to remain in the UK.

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