The Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor John Boyle, today opened an official Book of Condolence at the Guildhall in memory of journalist Lyra McKee who was murdered during rioting in the city on Thursday night.
Members of the National Union of Journalists joined with the Mayor, political, religious, and community leaders in signing the book, which will remain open over the coming weeks to allow the public to share their thoughts and well wishes following the terrible incident which has shocked the entire community.
Mayor Boyle, who is a personal friend of the 29-year-old journalist, issued a statement expressing his own personal sadness and shock and urged the community to join with him in condemning the ‘senseless and ruthless’ murder of a vibrant and talented young woman.
He said: “This is a dark day for the people of Derry who have woken up to the shocking news of a senseless and violent death on its streets. I knew Lyra McKee very well, I was one of her media lecturers as part of the Headliners project some years ago and we have been in regular contact since then.
"She recently moved to Derry where she was working as a freelance journalist. Lyra was a bright, intelligent and articulate writer with a witty, warm and fun loving personality and her murder has sent shock waves among the entire community. My deepest condolences are extended to her family and friends at this time.”
Mayor Boyle added that the Book of Condolence will provide the local community with an opportunity to express their heartfelt sympathy to Lyra’s family but also to show their total abhorrence for the continued violence on our streets.
“Lyra should have been in a generation that could grow up in a prosperous and peaceful island of Ireland. Her shocking murder serves as a reminder of the urgent need for us to work together to secure peace.
"I am heartbroken that senseless violence on our streets has cost the life of a wonderful person whose work and advocacy was always about making the world a better place. Rest in peace Lyra.”