'You cannot claim to love your country and cause death and pain to the people' - Bishop
Bishop of Derry Donal McKeown has warned those responsible for the killing of journalist Lyra McKee that they have can lay no claim to loving their country while inflicting pain on the people in it.
The Bishop was responding to the events of Thursday night, and ahead of community rallies at 2pm at Fanad Drive in Creggan and at 5pm in Guildhall Square following widespread revulsion over the killing of the talented Belfast woman.
Bishop McKeown said: "This Good Friday morning there is a deep air of sadness hanging over this city. The murder of journalist Lyra McKee is causing widespread shock and revulsion. Our first thoughts and prayers are with Ms McKee’s family and friends who are terribly grieved by her killing.
"I have every confidence that the wider community will come together at this time to make clear our conviction that violence solves nothing.
"Last July this city of Derry stood together against those who sought to engender conflict.
"I repeat my call from the Unity of Purpose rally on Fahan Street that destruction and aggression end up damaging the very communities that some people claim to be defending. You cannot claim to love your country and, at the same time, cause death and pain to the people who live here. All who live here deserve to be cherished equally.
"That spirit of coming together against violence has brought us a long way in the last 20 years It will continue today for we believe the original Good Friday message that love is stronger than hatred."