The ‘New’ IRA has claimed responsibility for the murder of journalist Lyra McKee. No wait. That should say ‘has claimed irresponsibility’ for the murder of Lyra McKee. And they wish to offer their “full and sincere apologies”. Oh, that’s all right, then.

Let is be very clear about this: no apology will ever be enough to atone for this wicked act by a cowardly bunch of murderers. They can say sorry until they are blue in the face but no one should ever forgive or forget what they did. They ended someone’s life, they ruined plenty more.

If the ‘New IRA’ has any sense, and that must be doubtful, it will disband in the here and now. Even the hardline terrorists of the old IRA condemned McKee’s murder. The IRA knew the game was up two decades ago and signed up to the Good Friday Agreement. We knew there would be obstacles along the road to peace and we probably feared some ‘militant’ offshoot would try to bring back the bad old days. The murder of McKee must be the last obstacle.

The New IRA’s weasel word ‘apology’ came after the hard left republican party Saoradh which supports the New IRA at first tried to justify the use of violence. Even the killers themselves appear to have grasped the significance of their own evil ways, even if their political wing, if that’s what it is, hasn’t yet noticed.

3600 lives were lost in the Troubles in Northern Ireland. For 21 years, a version of normality has returned, although there is still a long way to go. The death of Lyra McKee benefits literally no one, other than a few psychopaths who I hope will now be considering the twisted error of their ways. And once they finally see justice, I hope the judge locks them up and throws away the key.