Tributes To Lyra McKee, A Journalist Killed In Northern Ireland, Are So Moving
On Thursday, a young investigative journalist was fatally shot during riots in Northern Ireland. Now, people from all over the world are sharing their tributes to Lyra McKee, a 29-year-old described by the BBC as one of the "most promising" journalists in Northern Ireland.
According to the BBC, riots broke out Thursday during police searches of Londonderry, a city in Northern Ireland. McKee was reporting on the riots when she was fatally shot, NBC News reported. Although police officers rushed her to a hospital, she died from her wounds. Police have launched a murder inquiry, per BuzzFeed News, and they are treating McKee's death as a "terrorist incident."
McKee dedicated her life and career to reporting on the aftermath of the conflict between Irish nationalists and British unionists in Northern Ireland, CNN reported. In light of that, her friends and family — as well as a number of her fellow journalists — have offered moving tributes to McKee, to honor her work and legacy.
Tyra Calder, the owner of Excalibur Press — which worked with McKee to publish her first book — told CNN that she remembered McKee "as a young, determined, and ambitious budding reporter."
"Her tenacity, determination, ambition, and empathy made her an amazing young reporter and investigative writer," Calder said. "For years she tirelessly pursued the truth."
Other friends and colleagues similarly described McKee as a rising star in the media industry, and shared their memories of her on social media:
"She Was My Mentor"
Journalist Matthew Hughes described McKee as a "mentor," and expressed his devastation upon hearing the news of her death.
"Love, Profound Joy, And Mischievous Curiosity"
Transgender rights consultant Ellen Murray remembered McKee as a journalist "in her prime," and referred to her death as "an immeasurable loss."
"A Brilliant Journalist"
As writer Sinéad Gleeson recalled, McKee was "funny, kind," and about to publish a book.
"A Tenacious And Remarkable Young Woman"
Columbia University journalism professor Emily Bell remembered that McKee once asked her for career advice — "not that she needed it," Bell tweeted, because McKee "was a born reporter."
"A Gifted Writer"
For Ann Travers, McKee was "a loyal friend" who was "gentle, kind, and generous," and with whom she has had many happy memories.
Political correspondent Gavan Reilly described McKee as a journalist who was determined "to do her bit to drag Northern Ireland away from its darkest days."
"We Indulge No Excuses"
Journalist Fergal Keane offered his condolences to McKee's friends and family, and made it clear that her colleagues in the media industry would not accept "a warped version of history."
It "was a privilege" to know McKee and read her work, journalist Peter Geoghegan tweeted, and it is "appalling that people are dying in Northern Ireland like this in 2019."
"Rest In Power"
Queer activist Sharon Nolan thanked McKee for her work on LGBTQ rights in Northern Ireland. In a 2015 blog post, McKee wrote a letter to her 14-year-old self about what it was like to grow up gay in Belfast. According to The Irish Times, her friends turned the blog post into a short film two years later.
Writer Stephen Donnan remembered McKee as "a bright light" and "the woman who encouraged me to write."
"A Life Full Of Everything"
Even for people who never met McKee in person, such as actor Stephen McGann, she was a "wonderful voice," and her death was "senseless and cruel."
"It Was An Honor"
Editor Lilly Dancyger mourned the fact that McKee was killed by "that same violence" that she dedicated her life to reporting. "Sharing her work now is all I can think to do," Dancyger tweeted.
As Irish politician Niall Ó Donnghaile pointed out, even people who occasionally crossed paths with McKee — at panels or other events — were inspired by her work.
"Can We Really Be So Careless?"
BBC international correspondent Orla Guerin, like many other journalists, paid tribute to McKee by sharing her work on Twitter. "Who would want more blood to be shed in Northern Ireland?" Guerin asked in a tweet.
"Fearless To The End"
A number of McKee's colleagues and fellow journalists want to create a longer-lasting tribute to her, and have therefore launched a GoFundMe to help her family pay for funeral expenses. They also hope that some of the funds raised will help preserve her legacy, and go toward continuing the work that she started.