Woman, 57, arrested over murder of journalist Lyra McKee

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

The woman was arrested under the terrorism act and has been taken to Musgrave Serious Crime Suite, the police service of Northern Ireland said.

It comes after the so-called New IRA admitted responsibility for Ms McKee's death. She died after she was shot in the head on the Creggan estate on 18 April.

In a statement given to The Irish News using a recognised code word, the self-styled New IRA said: "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."

The New IRA is an amalgam of armed groups opposed to the peace process, and recently claimed responsibility for parcel bombs sent to London and Glasgow in March.

Trouble began on Thursday as officers carried out a search operation aimed at disrupting dissident republicans ahead of commemorations of Irish independence.

Two teenagers initially arrested by detectives were released without charge.

Ms McKee, who had tweeted about the "absolute madness" in the area in the hours before she lost her life, was standing near a police vehicle when she was hit.

Ms McKee, born and raised in Belfast, was a rising star in journalism, extensively covering the Northern Irish conflict and its legacy.

She rose to prominence in a 2014 blog called Letter To My 14-Year-Old Self in which she spoke about the struggle of growing up gay in Belfast. It was later made into a short film.

In 2016, Forbes Magazine named her one of their "30 under 30 in media" and she recently signed a two-book deal with Faber & Faber.

The first book, The Lost Boys, was due for release next year.

It is understood Ms McKee had recently moved to Derry to live with her partner while continuing her role as an editor for the California-based news site Mediagazer.

Her funeral will be held in Belfast tomorrow.