Lyra McKee: woman, 57, arrested over journalist's killing

Matthew Weaver

A 57-year-old woman has been arrested in connection with the killing of the journalist Lyra McKee in Derry last Thursday.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland said the woman was arrested under the Terrorism Act. She was taken to Musgrave serious crime suite in Belfast for questioning.

The arrest comes after the dissident republican group the New IRA admitted responsibility for McKee’s death and offered “full and sincere apologies” to her family and friends.

In a statement to the Irish News using a recognised codeword, the group acknowledged its activists had killed the 29-year-old investigative journalist, who was shot dead in the Creggan estate in Derry.

However, it also sought to justify its actions, characterising them as part of a defensive operation against enemy forces.

The statement read: “On Thursday night, following an incursion on the Creggan by heavily armed British crown forces which provoked rioting, the IRA deployed our volunteers to engage. We have instructed our volunteers to take the utmost care in future when engaging the enemy, and put in place measures to help ensure this.

“In the course of attacking the enemy, Lyra McKee was tragically killed while standing beside enemy forces. The IRA offer our full and sincere apologies to the partner, family and friends of Lyra McKee for her death.”

On Sunday, two men in their late teens who had been arrested over the killing were released without charge.