August 18, 2019

Lyra McKee, 29, Journalist; Killed Covering Northern Ireland Unrest

Her death drew condemnation by, among many others, Prime Minister Leo Varadkar of Ireland, Prime Minister Theresa May of Britain and Michelle O’Neill, the Northern Ireland leader of Sinn Fein, the former political arm of the Provisional I.R.A., whose decision to support the 1998 peace deal is rejected by the New I.R.A.

John O’Doherty, project director of the Rainbow Project, an advocacy group based in Belfast, lauded Ms. McKee for, through her videos and writings, “supporting people in coming out and using her own coming-out story to empower others to live as their most authentic selves.”

Friends and supporters set up a GoFundMe page to help her family pay funeral costs and to look after her mother, Joan, for whom Ms. McKee was a caregiver. Within hours it had exceeded the target of £25,000.

In addition to her mother, Ms. McKee’s survivors include her partner, Sara Canning, who is a nurse at the same hospital where Ms. McKee was pronounced dead.

In an interview with the website Successful Belfast, Ms. McKee spoke of remaining in that city even after many of its young had fled.

“The tale of Belfast is a tale of two cities,” she said. “On the one hand, if you’ve got prospects and a talent that’s been recognized, it’s a great city. But, when you have nothing, the city has nothing to offer you. It can be a really cruel place for working-class kids.

“There’s a poverty of vision and a poverty of ambition for young people, fed by a culture of undermining achievement,” she added. “I’m from a working-class community. I’ve experienced how the city has preconceived ideas about working-class kids, and what we’re capable of achieving.”

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