Dissident influence lessened significantly in Derry after murder of Lyra McKee, says Prof. Marie Breen-Smyth

The Derry-born independent reviewer of justice and security powers Professor Marie Breen-Smyth has said the influence of dissident republicans lessened significantly in Derry after the murder of Lyra McKee.

Prof. Breen-Smyth told the NI Affairs Committee: “If you look at dissident republican influence in Derry, for example, pre the murder of Lyra McKee and after the murder of Lyra McKee, you can see a huge difference.”

Briefing NIAC’s enquiry into paramilitary activity and organised crime, she observed: “The population came out on the streets to protest that murder. That gave a message about where the loyalties of the community lay.”

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Conservative MP Bob Stewart put it to Prof. Breen-Smyth that: “In my experience, it is always the mothers who come out, particularly in Londonderry.”

Professor Marie Breen-SmythProfessor Marie Breen-Smyth
Professor Marie Breen-Smyth

Prof. Breen-Smyth cautioned: “To be honest, I do not want to characterise women as all peace-making because we have some quite vociferous women as well. It is a little more complicated than that.”