Town comes together in memory of Lyra

William Smith


William Smith


Over 200 people attended a poignant vigil in memory of journalist Lyra McKee at the Omagh’s town centre on Saturday.

The young journalist, who will be laid to rest (today) Wednesday, was shot in the head while observing a night of violence and riots in the Creggan area of Londonderry on Thursday night. Yesterday (Tuesday), the New IRA admitted responsibility for the murder which has been roundly condemned across the political spectrum. In a statement the group offered “full and sincere apologies” to her family and friends.

Saturday’s vigil featured impassioned speeches for no return to the violence of the past. 

The vigil was organised by the National Union of Journalists and the Omagh Trades Union Council and was attended by individuals from all sides of the community, journalists and political representatives.

The vigil was led by Anton McCabe, from the National Executive of the National Union of Journalists.

“Omagh has done itself proud,” he said. “Lyra was a worker and a trade unionist, killed in the line of duty, at work because she was doing her job. She always saw that job as finding out the truth and telling it.”

Explaining to the crowd that Lyra loved to talk, Mr McCabe asked those in attendance to talk to each other for a quarter of an hour.

That's what Lyra would have wanted,” he said.

Mr McCabe continued: “A bright light has been extinguished and we have all lost a wonderful sister and comrade. Lyra used her huge talents to try to make Northern Ireland and the world a better place. She was a pioneer of online journalism here in Northern Ireland.

Full story in this week's Tyrone Constitution...

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