Northern Irish police charge man with murder of journalist Lyra McKee

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Northern Irish police on Wednesday said they had charged a 52-year-old man with the murder of journalist Lyra McKee in Londonderry in 2019, a killing that sparked outrage in the British-run province.

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The local man was arrested by detectives on Tuesday and taken to Belfast where he was also charged with possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life and with professing to be a member of a proscribed organisation.

Detective Superintendent Jason Murphy said in a statement that the man will appear at Londonderry Magistrates Court on Thursday.

Report says he is one of several individuals under investigation in relation to the murder of the 29-year-old McKee.

“I have always said a number of individuals were involved with the gunman on the night Lyra was killed.

“And while today is significant for the investigation the quest for the evidence to bring the gunman to justice remains active and ongoing,” Murphy said

The New IRA, among a small number of groups that opposed 1998 peace accord that largely ended sectarian bloodshed in Northern Ireland, said one of its members shot McKee when they opened fire toward police during a riot she was watching.

Her death was condemned at the time by both Irish Catholic nationalist and pro-British Protestant unionist politicians.

McKee, who was named Sky News Young Journalist of the Year in 2006, was writing a book on the disappearance of young people during the violence in Northern Ireland.

She had also written about her struggles growing up gay in the British province.

A Police Service of Northern Ireland spokeswoman said a 29-year-old man arrested under the Terrorism Act on Tuesday in connection with McKee’s killing had been released without charge.

Two other men aged 20 and 27 have been freed pending a report to the Public Prosecution Service.

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