Lyra McKee: Police release 46-year-old man without charge as murder inquiry continues

Suspect had been detained following searches in Derry

Emma Snaith,Zamira Rahim
Thursday 06 June 2019 10:32 BST
Sara Canning, partner of murdered journalist Lyra McKee, slams Theresa May as 'derelict' in her duty to Northern Ireland

Detectives investigating the murder of Lyra McKee have released a 46-year-old man without charge.

The man was arrested on Thursday morning under the Terrorism Act.

Ms McKee, a 29-year-old journalist, was shot in the head by the New IRA while reporting on a riot on Derry’s Creggan estate in April.

The 46-year-old was arrested following a number of searches in the Northland Road and Creggan areas.

He was taken to Musgrave Serious Crime Suite for questioning. A number of items were also seized and taken for further examination.

Detective Superintendent Jason Murphy said at the time of the arrest: ”Since Lyra was murdered following violent disorder in Creggan in Derry/Londonderry on 18 April, our investigation has received widespread support from the community.”

“I still want to hear from anyone who has any information and would appeal to the public to contact my team of detectives on 101.”

Police said the man had been released on Thursday.

Meanwhile one of the two men charged with public order offences as part of the investigation into Ms McKee’s murder has been refused bail for the third time.

Paul McIntyre, 51, is charged with riot, petrol bomb offences and arson of a hijacked vehicle.

His co-defendant, Christopher Gillen, 38, did not make a bail application. He is charged with petrol bomb offences and the arson and the hijacking of a tipper truck.

A new mural of Lyra McKee in Belfast’s city centre

Two teenagers aged 15 and 18, who were arrested alongside Mr McIntyre and Mr Gillen, were released without charge last month.

It comes after the sister of the murdered journalist appealed for her sibling’s killers to hand themselves in to police. Nichola Corner said it was a “terrible irony” that her sister’s killers have robbed themselves of the one person who would have tried to help them.

“None of this will ever bring my sister back to my mum, to me, to my brothers, my sisters, or nieces and nephews,” she added. “And as far as I’m concerned, that is the least that these people can do. And anyone whose helping them or guarding them or protecting them, they need to do the right thing as well.”

“She deserves justice and those people need to really think about handing themselves in. They need to do the right thing,” Ms Corner said.

The New IRA, an amalgam of armed groups opposed to the peace process, has said its members carried out the murder and offered an apology to Ms McKee’s family.

In the weeks after Ms McKee’s murder, graffiti threatening to “execute” people helping the police investigation was sprayed in Creggan.

The message “Informers will be executed” was painted along the wall of a local community centre, and posters of rats were attached to speed signs.

Police say more than 140 people have come forward with mobile phone or social media footage and a £10,000 reward has been offered by charity Crimestoppers for anyone with information that leads to an arrest over the death of Ms McKee.

Additional reporting by PA

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