Attack on Lyra McKee mural in Florida condemned

The Belfast journalist died after being hit by a bullet during rioting in the Creggan area of Londonderry on April 18 2019.

Rebecca Black
Tuesday 29 August 2023 15:09 BST
The service sheet for the funeral of murdered journalist Lyra McKee at St Anne’s Cathedral in Belfast (Brian Lawless/PA)
The service sheet for the funeral of murdered journalist Lyra McKee at St Anne’s Cathedral in Belfast (Brian Lawless/PA) (PA Archive)

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An attack on a mural of murdered journalist Lyra McKee in Florida in the US has been condemned.

Ms McKee died after being hit by a bullet during rioting in the Creggan area of Londonderry on April 18 2019, with dissident republican group the New IRA linked to the killing.

The incident sparked revulsion and condemnation across the world.

A mural was unveiled to Ms McKee in Orlando, a city she spoke about visiting in 2017, a year after a gunman opened fire at a gay nightclub in the city, killing 49 people.

Will do what we can to identify who did this and hold them accountable

Anna Vishkaee Eskamani, Florida House of Representatives

Orlando’s council also passed a resolution offering sympathy of the people of the city to Ms McKee’s loved ones.

A swastika, a target and anti-LGBTQ+ graffiti were daubed on the mural on the building of Zebra Youth, an organisation which supports LGBTQ+ youth, in recent days.

Member of the Florida House of Representatives Anna Vishkaee Eskamani described the graffiti in a social media post as “absolutely disgusting”.

“Will do what we can to identify who did this and hold them accountable,” she posted on the social media website X, formerly known as Twitter.

The mural was cleaned up by volunteers with Zebra Youth.

In a post on social media, Zebra Youth said: “Today Zebra Youth and LGBT+ Center Orlando – The Center’s beautiful murals were vandalized with hateful homophobic and transphobic messages and n*zi symbols.

“We are working with the Orlando Police Department to identify and prosecute this horrible hate crime.

“We appreciate all of the community support and are doing everything to ensure the safety of our youth and staff.

“We will not allow hate to win.”

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