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New IRA apologizes for journalist's killing; police arrest woman

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The New IRA militant Irish nationalist group has apologized for the killing of journalist Lyra McKee - its first acknowledgement that one of its members was involved, the Irish News newspaper reported on Tuesday.

The organization, which opposes Northern Ireland's 1998 peace deal, described McKee's death as tragic and offered "full and sincere apologies" to her partner, family and friends in a statement that the Irish News said it received on Monday night.

The 29-year-old reporter was shot dead in Londonderry on Thursday as she watched Irish nationalist youths attack police following a raid. Police said McKee was hit when a gunman opened fire in the direction of officers.

The group said it had sent volunteers to the area after the raid. "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.

The group is one of a number of small organisations who remain active and oppose the 1998 deal, which largely ended three decades of violence in the region. It is far smaller than the Irish Republican Army (IRA), which disarmed after the peace deal.

Police on Tuesday said they had arrested a 57-year-old woman in connection with the killing. Two men, aged 18 and 19, were arrested over the killing at the weekend, but were later released.

McKee's death, which followed a large car 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.

McKee was writing a book on the disappearance of young people during decades of violence in Northern Ireland.

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2019.

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

3 Comments
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As an Irish man can I just say the are disgusting vermin who don't represent the Irish people. Just a bunch of criminals. Nothing to do with an independent Ireland, just frustrated losers

12 ( +12 / -0 )

As an Irish man can I just say the are disgusting vermin who don't represent the Irish people. Just a bunch of criminals. Nothing to do with an independent Ireland, just frustrated losers

Go raibh maith agat, a chara. And a reminder to those who don't comprehend the situation; one can support a united 32 county Republic without the "help" of these murderers.

Their so-called "apology" is comtemptible. They do not represent Ireland.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

The group said it had sent volunteers to the area after the raid. "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.

Disgusting attempt. The only "enemy" they made up is the one they've made for themselves.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

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