Tributes have been pouring in for gay journalist Lyra McKee, who was shot dead on Thursday night by a masked gunman while reporting on riots in Derry, Northern Ireland.
The Police Service of Northern Ireland are treating the 29-year-old’s death as a terrorist incident and have launched a murder investigation. They believe the killing was the work of dissident republicans, and that the fired shots were intended for the police, near whom Ms McKee was standing at the time.
At a vigil in Derry, McKee’s partner, Sara Canning, said she had been left without “the woman I was planning to grow old with”.
She said that her partner was a “tireless advocate and activist” for the LGBT community, adding: “The senseless murder of Lyra McKee has left a family without a beloved daughter, a sister, an aunt and a great-aunt; so many friends without their confidante.”
Among the many paying tribute to Ms McKee was Patrick Corrigan, Northern Ireland Programme Director of Amnesty International, who said: “All at Amnesty are utterly devastated at the news that Lyra McKee has been shot dead while carrying out her job as a journalist.
“Lyra was a great young journalist, whose commitment to truth was absolute and whose laughter could light up a room.
“The bitter irony was that Lyra was due to speak at an Amnesty International event at the Queen’s Film Theatre in Belfast on 4 May about the dangers of reporting violent conflicts.”
Mr Corrigan added: “Journalists put themselves on the frontline in the battle for truth every single day. Every day, it becomes more dangerous for reporters to do their job on behalf of us all.
“Lyra McKee was one of those courageous seekers after truth, with a life ahead of her and so much to give.
“Our thoughts are with Lyra’s partner, her family and many friends.”
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