Detectives make appeal ahead of 1st anniversary of the murder of Lyra McKee

  • 17 April 2020

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Detectives from the PSNI’s Major Investigation Team investigating the murder of 29 year old journalist Lyra McKee, who was shot dead by terrorists in Derry/Londonderry on 18 April 2019, have issued an appeal ahead of the first anniversary of her death.

The Senior Investigating Officer has sent letters to people living in Creggan directly appealing to them to think back to the tragic events of a year ago and bring any new information forward to police.

Detective Superintendent Jason Murphy, who is leading the investigation, said: “On Saturday, 12 months will have passed since journalist Lyra McKee was shot dead during rioting at Fanad Drive in Creggan. Sadly Lyra’s mum died very recently without seeing justice for her daughter. While this appeal for information is being distributed by the police, it is also a direct appeal from the McKee family for help in getting justice for Lyra.

“The community as a whole was devastated by Lyra’s murder. Condemnation of her killing was unequivocal. That condemnation brought support for the community’s response from countries across the world.”

In his letter sent to Creggan residents, Detective Superintendent Murphy said:  “Since Lyra was killed, many of you may have spoken with my team of detectives. We have strived to conduct the investigation with sensitivity and care. My investigation is being carried out with the community and this has enabled us to gather important evidence which has resulted in one man being charged with Lyra’s murder and a second man being charged with offences connected to the rioting which preceded it.

“My sincere thanks go to all those who have helped to date.

“However, these charges do not signify the end of the investigation. For the police service, me and my team of detectives it is only the beginning. A huge amount of work has been done and massive amounts of community help has enabled us to piece together the events of 18 April 2019 and gain a clear understanding of the roles played by those who were involved.

“Lyra’s murder was not committed in isolation, nor did it involve only one person. The events that led up to Lyra being shot, and the events afterwards, are equally important. I am asking the community to reach into its conscience and tell us what it knows. Lyra’s family cannot begin the grieving process without the information about Lyra’s murder that they deserve. Anybody in their position would want the same.

“One year on, I am still seeking the evidence to bring every single person who was involved that night to justice. I cannot deliver that without you. Specifically I want to:

  1. Gather mobile phone footage or photographs from anyone who was there that night
  2. Speak to anyone who was present and who can identify those involved in the disorder
  3. Speak to anyone who can provide first-hand evidence relating to the events which preceded or followed Lyra’s murder
  4. Recover the gun that killed Lyra

“We have made the public portal available again, so that you can contact us discreetly. Log onto https://mipp.police.uk from your mobile, tablet, laptop or other device. We do not need to keep your mobile phone or device – we are only interested in downloading the videos or images of that night.  Please tell us what you know. If you want to speak to me directly, let me know via the MIPP application, email me at jason.murphy@psni.pnn.police.uk or ring me via 101.

“The community response has been incredible so far, but I know that other information and material is out there. On Lyra’s first anniversary I want to re-state the commitment of the police service to work with you as we collectively seek to release communities from the influence of terrorists.

“For the purposes of this investigation, I will offer anonymity to those who wish to talk to us. All I am looking for is a conversation. That’s it. I know that individuals may be struggling with their conscience, either about footage they have or information they know. We can help with that. Talk to us. Ease your conscience and help us resolve a small part of the nightmare that the McKee family live through every single day.”