Video: MTV presence in Creggan at time of Lyra McKee murder raised by senior Conservative MP

A senior Conservative MP has said the presence of an  MTV-commissioned production company in Derry on the night of Lyra McKee’s murder, appears to have been “central to this awful tragedy, through no fault of its own.”

Tuesday, 30th April 2019, 3:45 pm
Updated Tuesday, 30th April 2019, 4:53 pm
Lyra McKee.

Dr. Andrew Murrison, who chairs the influential Northern Ireland Affairs Committee (NIAC), asked the British Secretary of State for the North, Karen Bradley, whether or not the killing of Miss McKee during rioting in Creggan on April 18 was ‘a failed propaganda attempt by the New IRA.’

“The Viacom channel MTV appears to have been central to this awful tragedy, through no fault of its own,” he told MPs when the atrocity was raised in the House of Commons.

“What can be done to ensure that media operators that, quite legitimately, seek to create content in conflicted situations of this sort, are not involved, clearly against their wishes and much to their horror, in events of this sort, where there appears to have been a failed propaganda attempt by the New IRA?” he asked.

Lyra McKee.

The Secretary of State said people would need “to wait to see, in the days to come, what effect the camera crew being on the ground had.”

Mrs. Bradley replied: “I thank the Chair of the Select Committee. I know that he, as a former minister in the Northern Ireland Office, is very familiar with the situation in Londonderry and the security threat the PSNI and security forces face every day.

“It is quite something to think that when actions like this happen in Londonderry it is almost normal - it is just what happens.

“The PSNI face petrol bombs and shots being fired at them. They sit in Land Rovers and take the fire and the onslaught.

“Clearly, we will need to wait to see, in the days to come, what effect the camera crew being on the ground had, but this also shows that a crowd had gathered.

“People came out to watch what was seen as being a spectacle.

“That just goes to show that these spectacles can have the most deadly outcomes.”

In a statement issued in the immediate aftermath of Lyra McKee’s murder, MTV confirmed that a production company that had been making a documentary commissioned by the station had been in Creggan at the time of the rioting during which the 29-year-old journalist was shot dead.

However, the broadcaster said the camera crew’s presence in no way influenced the circumstances that led to her death.

It stated: “As stated by the PSNI, there is no evidence of any sort to show that the presence of media on the ground contributed or impacted the situation on the Creggan estate the night that Lyra McKee was tragically shot and killed.

“The crowds had already assembled following a police search in the area and upon hearing about the search, a production company filming a documentary for MTV made their way to the area, as did multiple other news crews who were also present on the scene.

“MTV is not a line of enquiry in police investigations.”