Lyra McKee family voice disgust over Easter Rising parade on murder anniversary

Ms McKee was killed during rioting in Derry on April 18, 2019.

Rebecca Black
Monday 18 April 2022 20:36
Saoradh Colour Party marches from Free Derry corner to the City Cemetery in Londonderry (Liam McBurney/PA)
Saoradh Colour Party marches from Free Derry corner to the City Cemetery in Londonderry (Liam McBurney/PA)

The family of murdered journalist Lyra McKee have voiced disgust that a republican Easter parade linked with dissidents went ahead on the anniversary of her murder.

Ms McKee, a journalist, died after being struck by a bullet during rioting in the Creggan area of Londonderry on April 18, 2019.

Vigils took place in her memory in Belfast and Derry on Monday.

An extremist group styling itself the New IRA has previously claimed it was responsible for killing the journalist and author.

Saoradh Colour Party marches from Free Derry corner to the City Cemetery in Londonderry (Liam McBurney/PA)

A republican parade to commemorate the 1916 Easter Rising also took place in Derry on Monday. It was connected to the group Saoradh which is accused of having links with the New IRA.

The Parades Commission had ruled that no paramilitary style clothing be worn in the procession.

Ms McKee’s sister Nichola Corner questioned why the event could not have been held on a different day, pointing out the date of Easter changes every year.

Lyra McKee’s sister Nichola Corner with her husband John Corner on Fanad Drive in Derry, where journalist Lyra McKee was murdered to mark the third anniversary (Liam McBurney/PA)

“When we objected to this parade taking place, it was on the grounds of the date alone, not on the grounds of marching,” she told the PA news agency.

“Had they marched on Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday, we wouldn’t have cared.

“It is insulting to go forth on Lyra’s anniversary, to do a parade of this nature honouring other dead. It’s in really bad taste.”

Ms McKee’s partner Sara Canning added: “We’re here to honour someone we loved, and they’re there to honour people who died 106 years ago. That’s my personal take on it and why I think it’s in such bad taste.”

The Unfinished Revolution National Easter Commemoration parade ended at Derry City Cemetery where an address was heard.

An Saoradh Colour Party member speaking at the City Cemetery in Londonderry (Liam McBurney/PA)

A masked man told those gathered: “We are here to stay”, to applause before the Irish national anthem was played. A message was also read from republican prisoners at jails in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

There were reports of disturbances at the cemetery on Monday evening.

On Monday evening, police confirmed that officers had come under attack as they made arrests.

Five men – aged 29, 38, 40, 50 and 54 years – were arrested under the Terrorism Act.

A sixth man, aged 40 years old, was arrested on suspicion of disorderly behaviour.

Officers also seized a number of vehicles, suspected terrorist uniforms and petrol bombs.

Derry and Strabane District Commander, Chief Superintendent Ryan Henderson said participants in the parade were assessed as having potentially committed criminal offences.

Police monitored the event closely and, at what was considered to be considered to be an appropriate point, took action to secure evidence and make arrests,” he said.

“Whilst doing so, police officers came under attack from petrol bombs and masonry.

“Our officers showed tremendous courage and professionalism in what was still clearly a dangerous situation.

“Fortunately, none of our officers, or members of the public were injured as a result of this reckless and criminal behaviour. Our inquiries will continue over the coming days and weeks to bring offenders to justice.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in