Loss of Lyra is a turning point, talks now: SDLP

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood has written to the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, the British Prime Minister Theresa May and the main party leaders, to call for immediate power-sharing talks.

Wednesday, 24th April 2019, 12:55 pm
Updated Wednesday, 24th April 2019, 2:03 pm
The Mayor of Derry and Strabane, John Boyle, and SDLP leader Colum Eastwood, at the funeral and service of thanksgiving for the life of journalist Lyra McKee at St Anne's Cathedral, Donegall Street, Belfast. Lyra McKee was murdered in Creggan in Derry on Thursday, April 18. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

In a letter dispatched on Monday, Mr. Eastwood said he believed the murder of Lyra McKee had prompted an appetite for the resurrection of the institutions.

He stated: “There is an unmistakable public desire that the tragic and terrible loss of Lyra McKee marks a turning point for our peace and political process.

“I am, therefore, writing to all party leaders and to the two governments to urge that talks are convened this week in order to finally restore government in Northern Ireland.

"On the streets of Creggan, in Derry and across Ireland a clear and resolute message has been sent to Lyra’s killers and to all of those still wedded to the futility of violence.

"They are the enemies of all of us on this island and enemies of the shared future we have all chosen to build. There was, however, another equally strong message in the aftermath of last week’s murder. It was a simple and direct message to all of us tasked with political leadership – resolve your differences, end the division and get back to work.”

Mr. Eastwood said the two governments should convene urgent talks this week.

“If this is to be a turning point, then it is vital that we listen to the public demand to return devolution and power-sharing.”