Northern Ireland

Lyra McKee: Vigils held for journalist murdered in Derry

Pride flags being flown during silence in Newry
Image caption Rainbow flags were flown during a minute's silence in Newry

Vigils have been held to remember the life of murdered journalist Lyra McKee.

The 29-year-old was killed during violence in Londonderry on Thursday.

Hundreds of people were in Dungannon, Omagh and Newry on Saturday to pay their respects, as well as at vigils in Derry and Belfast on Friday.

"Guns have no place in any community whatsoever and the anger we feel about that is palpable, and the community is in the same place," Ms McKee's friend Sinead Quinn told BBC News NI.

At the vigils, rainbow flags were flown and books of condolences were signed as people gathered to remember the young woman.

"The anger is there at so many different areas for so many different reasons," said Ms Quinn.

"Obviously to whoever shot the gun, the people who are hiding the guns, the people who are spurring these young people on to want to have guns."

Image caption Sinead Quinn was among some of Lyra McKee's friends who visited the scene of her murder on Saturday

Ms McKee's friend Alison Millar told BBC News NI that "the reaction is global".

She had been due to meet Ms McKee for dinner on Friday.

"For Sara, her partner, and her family, the fact that there has been such an outpouring of love for Lyra and outrage at her murder, and it doesn't bring her back but it it is so huge and a massive will from the people of Derry to say 'we don't want this'," said Ms Millar.

"Lyra didn't see problems, she didn't see boundaries, she just saw solutions.

"She embraced stuff with incredible spirit. She was this small person with a heart the size of the world but her personality was so magnetic that people didn't say no to her."

Dissident republicans are being blamed for the killing in the Creggan area.

Image caption Bishop of Derry Donal McKeown said the incident has "touched something very deep in the city"

Bishop of Derry Donal McKeown said he plans to use his Easter Sunday service to talk to his community about Ms McKee's death.

"This place will be a better place when the community says 'no, we want a good future for our children and we will remove from our midst anything that actually threatens our young people, corrupts them," he said.

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