“The loss of a journalist at any time in any part of the world is an attack on truth itself.” The words of the Irish president Michael D Higgins following the killing of the journalist and LGBT campaigner Lyra McKee. I have admired her writing across numerous media outlets for many years and her death, at the hands of Irish nationalist terrorists, is as depressing as it is sickening.
At a time when journalism itself is under attack from the political extremes, the loss of McKee is particularly distressing. Her brand of investigative journalism is needed more than ever in a post truth Trumpian world.
We have no idea where her killing is in any way connected with her profession. We know that she was on the streets to report on the disorder on the streets of Derry. Was her killer aware of who he was shooting at or was it merely indiscriminate?
All political parties, including Sinn Fein, attended a vigil today at which McKee’s senseless killing was universally condemned. Her death was about much more than her journalistic talent.
She provided a beacon of hope to the LGBT community in a province where many people hold backward, prehistoric attitudes. She believed in ‘conversation’, where people who did not necessarily have the same views or philosophies could freely express their views and get to hear those of others. She was both a brave writer and campaigner.
I feel devastated for her partner Sara Canning who said she had been left without “the woman I was planning to grow old with” and her family and friends who have lost a loved one.
Her killer is a lowlife scumbag. I hope he lives the rest of his life fearing the next knock on his door and if anyone knows who he is, I hope they do the right thing and dob him into the police. Lock him up and throw away the key.
If anything good can come out of this, I’m at a complete loss to understand what it might be.