'Why in God's name does it take the death of a 29-year-old woman with her whole life ahead of her to get to this point?' These were the words of Fr Martin Magill as he spoke at the funeral of Lyra McKee. McKee was killed whilst observing rioting in Derry. Mourners have implored politicians to turn the journalist's murder into a turning point for Northern Ireland. The likes of Theresa May, Jeremy Corbyn and many more MPs were amongst the congregationContinue reading...
Clerics and relatives hope politicians present will convert shock into moment of change for Northern Ireland
Clerics, friends and relatives of McKee issued blunt, impassioned appeals to Theresa May and other party leaders who attended the service in Belfast’s St Anne’s Cathedral on Wednesday, urging them to convert the shock at her killing into a transformative moment.Continue reading...
Lyra McKee wrote of Derry’s lost ‘ceasefire babies’. We owe it to her to help them | Séamas O’Reilly
On Wednesday in Belfast, the funeral of journalist Lyra McKee took place, following her murder in Derry last week. She was a steadfast activist and writer who had, at just 29, been doing award-winning, hard-hitting and empathetic journalism for many years. She captured the experiences of LGBTI people in Northern Ireland, her own included, and portrayed the struggles of all people in the province regardless of age, class, orientation or politics. She had only recently moved to Derry to live with her partner, a native of the city. Responsibility for her death was claimed by the New IRA, a dissident paramilitary grouping mostly considered a fringe movement of dissolute men, now held in contempt by all but the most craven extremists. On Monday, it released a statement “apologising” for the killing, itself such a repulsive piece of self-serving cowardice that no further mention of its contents is warranted here.
As someone born and bred in Derry, I can scarcely remember the city being more united in revulsion. To see the DUP leader, Arlene Foster, applauded on stage at a vigil for McKee in the staunchly nationalist Creggan estate, is testament to that.
The imposition of a boundary with Donegal would be economically ruinous, socially disastrous and politically recklessContinue reading...
Chuck Owens has enjoyed an Irish country music career spanning 43 years. He spoke to Michael McDonagh about longevity and working with the greats. IW: Chuck Owens, you have a new double-CD out celebrating 40 years in the music business. “Well yes, actually it is a little bit longer than that, about 43 years.” IW: […]
A priest at the funeral of murdered journalist Lyra McKee asked “why in God’s name” it took her murder to unite politicians in the region. Fr Martin Magill, a friend of McKee and of her north Belfast family, was delivering the homily at her funeral service in St Anne’s Church of Ireland Cathedral in Belfast […]
The post ‘Why in God’s name’ did it take McKee’s murder to unite parties appeared first on The Irish World.
The Irish author reflects on the life of the journalist murdered in Derry
On Tuesday, I gathered with a crowd in Dublin at a vigil for Lyra McKee organised by the National Union of Journalists. The meeting point was the Garden of Remembrance, a site frequently used for the commemoration of political and social causes. Over the decades, it has also become a known starting point for many public marches across the activist spectrum, from housing and homelessness, to causes that Lyra herself had been vocal about: LGBT rights and the need for free, safe and legal abortion (still illegal in the Northern Ireland). Down the hill, on O’Connell Street, is the former site of Nelson’s Pillar, blown up in 1966 by a small group of dissidents who had been been expelled from the IRA. And now in 2019, a different sect of republican dissidents in Derry shot Lyra in the head with a single bullet.
Standing in the warm spring sun, no one was thinking of those cowards. The crowd were united in their grief for Lyra, her partner Sara, her family and friends. I thought about the beacon she was for so many in the North – young and old, LGBT people, those weary of politics and conflict, of sectarianism and bigotry. Carrying pictures of Lyra and candles, we walked to the Hugh Lane Gallery around the corner. Sections from Suicide of the Ceasefire Babies and A Letter to My 14-Year-Old Self – articles that had made Lyra’s name as an outspoken journalist – were read out. Many people wept silently.
When you lost someone in the Troubles, you had a story you could tell. There was a beginning, a middle, and an end. He lived, she died – because he was Catholic, Protestant, in the IRA, in the police, in a loyalist gang – and we miss her, every day. Beginning, middle, end.Continue reading...
The Sligo Business Network will host a special networking event in London next month, with hopes that Michael Flatley will be in attendance to discuss the importance of local business. The event will take place at the Marylebone Hotel in London on the evening of May 1st. As well as socialising and networking, guests can […]
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Late one evening last month, a single tweet set off a chain reaction that would change Irish football forever. Mark Tighe, a reporter for the The Sunday Times, told his followers in vague yet far from indiscriminate terms that John Delaney — the chief executive of the Football Association of Ireland, either a messianic figure […]
The funeral of the murdered journalist Lyra McKee is taking place on Wednesday in Belfast. McKee was shot dead as she observed clashes between police and New IRA dissidents on the Creggan estate in Derry on 18 AprilContinue reading...
Recent commitments made to Irish citizens in Northern Ireland guaranteeing full access to EU benefits must be signed into legislation, human rights groups and campaigners have said. This comes as leading lawyers, Northern Ireland politicians and human rights campaigners continue to argue that a recent Home Office rule change undermines the rights of Northern Ireland-born […]
The post Northern Ireland rights promises ‘must be legislated’ appeared first on The Irish World.
The decision, late in the day, by the DUP and Sinn Féin to issue a joint statement calling for calm heads in Derry following the murder of Lyra McKee is to be welcomed – and the very least they could do. Ms McKee, who will be buried in Belfast this Wednesday after friends and colleagues […]
A daylight march by a Republican group affiliated to the New IRA, the dissident terrorist group who have reportedly admitted responsibility for the murder of journalist Lyra McKee, was “beneath contempt” and is “an insult to the Irish people”, the Taoiseach has said. The military-style rally took place outside the GPO in Dublin city last […]
Brexit: Theresa May's approval ratings with Tory members hit record low, survey suggests - live news
Rolling coverage of the day’s political developments as they happen, including PMQs
Matt Hancock, the health secretary, said this morning that changing the prime minister would not resolve the deadlock over Brexit. Speaking at a TaxPayers’ Alliance event in London, he said:
Changing the prime minister will not change what we need to do to deliver Brexit, I think we should get on and deliver Brexit and I voted for that many times.
I hope the House of Commons will come to a majority to be able to deliver the result on the referendum.
The Brexit party has announced a new recruit today; Ann Widdecombe, the former Conservative prisons minister who stood down as an MP in 2010 before an appearance on Strictly opened up a new career for her as a TV celebrity, has used an article in the Daily Express to announce that she will be a Brexit party candidate at the European elections in the South West.
She says she expects to be thrown out of the Conservative party as a result.
Britain is an international laughing stock. Parliament is beyond parody. Both major parties are busy breaking the promises of the manifestos on which they stood and there is a huge disengagement between people and parliament, which could lead to record numbers of people just not bothering to vote ...
I was one of those who voted leave because I wanted Britain to be a sovereign state, able to control our own borders, make our own laws, trade with whom we please, be ruled by our own democratically elected government.
Senior Tory MPs have expressed alarm about Theresa May’s decision to give the Chinese telecoms firm Huawei a limited role in supplying the future 5G mobile phone network against the advice of some cabinet ministers, security chiefs and the US, my colleague Matthew Weaver reports.
Antoinette Sandbach, a Conservative pro-European and a member of the executive of the backbench 1922 Committee, was on Sky’s All Out Politics this morning. She refused to comment in detail on what happened at the executive’s meeting yesterday, where MPs discussed calls for the party’s rules to be changed to allow an early no confidence vote in Theresa May (under the current rules May is safe until December, 12 months after the last one), but she did suggest that advance briefing to the effect that the 1922 executive would definitely agree to change the rules was wrong.
Instead members were “sent away to go away and think on things”, she said, effectively admitting that yesterday’s talks were inconclusive. There would be a further discussion when the executive met later today. “I’m sure that matters will become clearer later,” she said.
I would say to colleagues that when the no confidence vote was triggered in December, you knew what the rules were, you chose to trigger the vote, and I think you have to live with the result.
Speaking on the Today programme this morning, the Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald condemned the New IRA, who have admitted responsibility for the killing of Lyra McKee, “unreservedly”. McDonald went on:
The war in Ireland is over, the conflict is over, the IRA arms have been destroyed or put beyond use. We have a new democratic dispensation and it is so important we make that work, that institutions of government work ...
[The New IRA] are a tiny, unrepresentative group that have no plan, that have no strategy. If their alibi [for the killing of journalist McKee] is they are seeking to advance the cause of republicanism, they are very far off the mark.
Jeremy Corbyn will also be attending Lyra McKee’s funeral, Sky’s Amber de Botton reports.
Jeremy Corbyn will also attend Lyra McKee's funeral today.
Here is the statement that Lyra McKee’s family issued yesterday ahead of her funeral. It includes this:
We would ask that Lyra’s life and her personal philosophy are used as an example to us all as we face this tragedy together. Lyra’s answer would have been simple, the only way to overcome hatred and intolerance is with love, understanding and kindness.
“Lyra’s answer would have been simple, the only way to overcome hatred and intolerance is with love, understanding and kindness.” (Family of Lyra McKee) pic.twitter.com/PkvaNG75Xx
I’ll need to change the agenda for the day, because Theresa May is now not taking PMQs. Number 10 has just announced she will be travelling to Belfast for the funeral of the murdered writer and journalist Lyra McKee.
Number 10 put out this statement.
The PM will travel to Belfast today where she will attend the funeral of Lyra McKee.
Questions in the House of Commons at noon will be taken by the chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster [David Lidington].
Theresa May was due to be holding her first PMQs today since the Easter recess. Before the break she told MPs that they should use the holiday to consider their “national duty” and reflect on how they might find a solution to the Brexit impasse. That wish does not seem to have been fulfilled, but Tory MPs have been reflecting on what they can do to get rid of May herself.
And a new survey of Conservative party members by the ConservativeHome website illustrates quite how little support May now has in her party. According to Conservative Home, May’s approval ratings amongst members have hit a record low.
For obvious reasons, the prime minister is bearing particular blame from party members – both, one suspects, for her Brexit failure in particular and for the more general problems her continued leadership brings with it. Her rating wasn’t fantastic in February, when it sat at -40.8, but the prospect of postponement pushed it down to -51.2 in March, and the reality of that broken promise has pushed her numbers off a cliff, plummeting to -73.5 in April. I’ve searched our archives and so far as I can see this is the worst rating awarded to any Conservative ever in this question. The only cabinet league table numbers I can find which were worse were Vince Cable and Chris Huhne at their respective nadirs during the coalition years, which are not people a Tory prime minister would want to rival in the grassroots popularity stakes.Continue reading...
Irish society must “atone” for sending women to institutions and burying babies in unmarked graves, Leo Varadkar has said in response to last week’s long-awaited publication of the fifth interim report from the commission of investigation into mother and baby homes. Ireland’s Minister for Children, Katherine Zappone, has pled with the public that there “must […]
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Political leaders from UK and Ireland will be at journalist’s Belfast memorial service
Theresa May will attend the funeral of the journalist and author Lyra McKee in Belfast on Wednesday, Downing Street has confirmed.
The prime minister will join other dignitaries including the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, the Irish prime minister, Leo Varadkar, the Irish president, Michael Higgins, and the Irish foreign minister, Simon Coveney.Continue reading...