Published: Wed, April 24, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Woman arrested in connection with Lyra McKee murder released without charge

Woman arrested in connection with Lyra McKee murder released without charge

Meanwhile, police in Northern Ireland confirmed this morning that they had arrested a 57-year-old woman under the Terrorism Act in connection with McKee's murder.

A small group called the New IRA admitted responsibility Tuesday for the journalist's death and apologized to McKee's partner and family.

The group said the 29-year-old journalist was killed during Thursday night's unrest "while standing beside enemy forces" - a reference to the police.

The New IRA issued a statement Tuesday claiming the woman as one of their "volunteers" and admitting that she shot McKee, 29, while the journalist was "standing beside enemy forces", meaning police, The Associated Press reported.

The new IRA is a terror organisation made up of armed groups opposed to the peace process and it recently claimed responsibility for parcel bombs sent to London and Glasgow in March.

In a post on her Facebook page on Sunday, Ms Canning said Ms McKee "would love it" if people "would like to wear Hufflepuff, Harry Potter, or Marvel related items" at the service. The arrest comes after two men, aged 18 and 19, were arrested Saturday.

"We can then look at how we capture that information in the best way possible to protect those witnesses and enable me to bring the gunman who killed Lyra McKee to justice".

"We have instructed our volunteers to take the utmost care in future when engaging with the enemy, and put in place measures to help ensure this", read the New IRA statement.

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McKee's death, which followed a large vehicle bomb in Londonderry in January that police also blamed on the New IRA, raised fears that small marginalised militant groups are trying to exploit political tensions caused by Britain's decision to leave the European Union.

The Saoradh party, which represents dissident republicans but denies being the political wing of the New IRA, said on Friday that "heavily armed" police had gone in to the area "to attack republicans".

A car-bombing and the hijacking of two vans in Londonderry earlier this year were also blamed on a dissident paramilitary group.

The killing evoked memories of the three decades of violent strife in Northern Ireland and sparked condemnation across the political spectrum also in the neighbouring Republic of Ireland.

"I know there are people in the community who have information but feel they can't come forward to us, who feel scared".

A number of Miss McKee's friends walked to Junior McDaid House in Derry, where they used a pot of red paint to place handprints on the side of the office walls.

The use of a firearm apparently aimed at police marks a unsafe escalation in sporadic violence that continues to plague Northern Ireland 21 years after the Good Friday peace agreement was signed.

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