Video: Colum Eastwood reacts to murder of young journalist Lyra McKee
The SDLP leader Colum Eastwood has described the murder of Lyra McKee in Derry last night as a 'grotesque crime' perpetrated by 'cowards' who are at loggerheads with the people of Ireland.
He said: “We have all lost an incredible young talent. I had the opportunity to speak with Lyra on a number of occasions as a journalist, as will politicians and leaders from all parties and communities. She had a passionate thirst for the truth and for telling the stories of people who had been forgotten or abandoned.
“Her character and values stand in stark contrast to the cowards who fired indiscriminately at police officers in Derry last night and have murdered a young woman who had so much to contribute to shaping our society and bringing people together."
Mr. Eastwood said Ms. McKee's murder was heartbreaking, occurring as it did, so close to the anniversary of the signing of the Good Friday Agreement 21 years ago.
“This news, coming on Good Friday, is a dark reminder to us all that our peace is fragile and that we must protect it everyday from those who want to shatter the progress that we have made.
"Those responsible for this heinous crime need to be faced down, they need to be made to realise that their fight is not with the PSNI or with young journalists doing their job. Their fight is with all of us, the people of Ireland. And it is a fight that they will never win.
“Today our thoughts are with Lyra’s family and friends. We should all remember her passion, humour and thirst for justice," he said.